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A Novel of the 
Founding of Georgia 



By WILLIE SNOW ETHRIDGE 

In her new novel, Willie Snow Efch- 
ridge takes a typical young couple, 
Heather Forsyth and her Bart, and tells 
the story of their romance, their frequent 
quarrels, small triumphs and heart- 
breaking disappointments and through 
them reveals both something of the fierce 
passion of youth and the essential qual- 
ity of life in Georgia's early days. For the 
Savannah settlement was dominated by 
the impressive yet enigmatic figure of 
General Oglethorpe, who governed it 
with a firm hand. Heather, all fire and 
feminine sensibilities, did not approve of 
everything that the General proposed for 
the already divided colonists; Bart on 
the other hand, weighing matters in his 
man's way, usually sided with his leader. 

The author tells with much colorful 
detail how this lovers' conflict was re- 
solved and how, at the battle of Bloody 
Marsh, Oglethorpe defeated the Spanish 
and at last put the colony on a firm 
foundation. 

Georgia's early story provides splendid 
material for the writer of fiction. Of all 

(Continued on back flap) 
JACKET DESIGN BY GIL ETHEREDGE 



Ethridge, Willie (Snow) 

Summer thunder. Coward- 
McCann[195S] $3.95 fc0 




Summer Thunder 



BOOKS BY WILLIE SNOW ETHRIDGE 

As I Live and Breathe 

Mingled Yarn 

I'll Sing One Song 

This Little Pig Stayed Home 

It's Greek to Me 

Going to Jerusalem 

Let's Talk Turkey 

Nila 



LUHd 



WILLIE SNOW ETHRIDGE 



COWARD-McCANN, Inc. 
NEW YORK 



/95# by Willie Snow Ethridge 



All rights reserved. This book, or parts thereof, 

may not be reproduced in any form without permission 

in writing from the Publisher. Published simultaneously 

in the Dominion of Canada by Longmans, Green & Company, 

Toronto. 

From JOHN BROWN'S BODY 

Rinehart & Company, Inc. 

Copyright 1927, 1928 by Stephen Vincent Benet 

Copyright renewed 1955, 1956 by Rosemary Carr Benet 

Library of Congress Catalog 
Card Number: 58-13707 



MANUFACTURED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 



For my brother, William Snow, who in his usual enthusiastic, 
generous, affectionate -fashion spent many days piloting me in the 
wa\e of James Oglethorpe's Georgia and Florida expeditions. 



This is his Georgia, this his share 

Of pine and river and sleepy air 

Of summer thunder and winter rain 

That spills bright tears on the window pane 

With the slight, fierce passion of young men's grief 

Of the mocking bird and the mulberry leaf. 

Stephen Vincent Benet, John Brown's Body 



Summer Thunder 



I 



IT was early February o 1736 when James Oglethorpe set 
his shining, pump-shod feet for the second time on Georgia soil 
and, as on his first visit, the white blossoms of the plums were 
crinkled sheets of tissue against the dark green walls of live oaks, 
magnolia, cedar, holly and pine that enclosed the small, raw settle- 
ment of Savannah. 

"Mr. Oglethorpe is back!" the people cried excitedly in the streets 
as soon as the news reached them. "Mr. Oglethorpe is back. God 
be praised! Now our affairs will better. Thank the good Lord!" 
Then they began to hurry toward the northern rim of the high, 
flat bluff on which the town stood and peer down the sun-spattered 
river, also named Savannah, that flowed sleepily at its base. 

At first there was no sign of Mr. Oglethorpe; he had anchored 
eighteen miles away at the mouth of the river, opposite Tybee 
Island; but shortly he arrived in a long, graceful, ten-oared cutter. 
The guns on the battery boomed twenty-one times; the British 
Jack flying from its raw pine staff quivered with the repercussions; 
and all the Englishmen, excepting indentured servants, who had 
managed to reach the embankment in time, received him at atten- 
tion. Also German Salzburgers, Frenchmen and Swiss from nearby 
villages, Moravians, Indian traders and boatmen milled about, wav- 
ing and shouting huzzas. 

Standing on tiptoe in the midst of the motley crowd, Heather 
Forsyth got her first good look at him as he mounted the last steps 
of the steep stairs leading from the river and raised his right arm, 
holding his tricorn beaver hat high above his head in his customary 
greeting. He had changed very little, she noted happily, in the two 
years he had been in England. His normally fair skin was a bit 
more ruddy, perhaps, from the long weeks at sea than when he had 
left and a few more wrinkles fanned out from his eyes; but he was 

II 



still exceedingly handsome and when he smiled, as he was doing 
now with the people pressing about him, there was a suggestion of 
warmth, of excitement, of purposeful vitality of ... yes, even of 
greatness about him. 

His features were bold and clear-cut like those Heather had seen 
on the pages of her Latin books. The forehead was deep beneath a 
powdered, tightly curled wig and the large, patrician nose sprang 
boldly from it, separating keen, medium-sized hazel eyes, whose 
color usually passed unnoticed because of the bushy, auburn brows 
that roofed them over. Beneath the prow of the nose the fairly short, 
full, upper lip was so deeply indented with a cupid's bow it would 
have been more suitable for a woman's face; but there was nothing 
feminine about the flat planes of the cheeks, the long, slanting jaws 
and the forward thrust of the chin. 

Heather often wondered why he had never married. Here he was 
already forty on his last birthday, a wealthy squire, a Member of 
Parliament, a personal friend of Queen Caroline and King George 
II and still a bachelor. It must be he was too ambitious to spare 
the time for a wife. But if ever he did marry, he would make a 
woman a demanding, exacting, exasperating, challenging husband. 
A faint tremor ran along Heather's spine at the thought. 

Then she shrugged her shoulders and grinned. How could she 
be so foolish as to feel a tremor, no matter how faint. She was 
only sixteen, a mere child to James Oglethorpe and a nobody, 
though a pretty nobody, as her mirror told her. She had most unu- 
sual eyes they were ordinarily a clear gold color; but on some 
occasions, especially when she was in the woods, they appeared 
green and she had thick, curly, corn-shuck colored hair and a 
healthy, glowing complexion, sprinkled with pale freckles, Her 
mouth was wide and generous, showing strong white teeth when 
she talked and laughed, and her nose was shapely, though slightly 
tilted. 

The gun salute and huzzas dying out, James Oglethorpe lowered 
his hat, relaxed somewhat his tall, well-filled-out body and turned 
his distinguished head first to the right, then to the left, signaling 
he was now ready to greet personally those who wished to speak 
to him. 
Heather, patting the arms of several ragged, ill-smelling settlers 

12 



and murmuring apologies, inched her way forward. She couldn't 
possibly be so bold as to speak to him ahead of the leaders of the 
town, but she simply must hear every word he had to say. 

Thomas Causton, the bailiff, was the first to reach him. With his 
stomach rounded out hugely as if he had not only swallowed a 
drum but was beating on it, he strutted forward. "At your service, 
sir," he said importantly and bowed as low as his figure permitted, 
the long, stiffened tails of his tan serge coat sticking out like the 
legs of a flying duck. 

"Your humble servant, sir," James Oglethorpe replied in a voice 
that was pleasant, but surprisingly thin and high-pitched, and he 
took Thomas Causton's hand and shook it while he studied in- 
tently the big, flabby cheeks, the catfish mouth, the little, poker- 
pointed, hot black eyes and the widespread nose that seemed bone- 
less, for frequently as he talked he rotated it about with the tip of 
his index finger. 

Thomas Causton was a man of considerable influence in Georgia. 
Back in England he had been a calico printer, but here he was the 
first law enforcement officer and, with two other bailiffs and the 
recorder of the Court, made up the governing body, known as the 
Magistrates; and he was also the keeper of the Store, which meant 
that he doled out to all those living on the charity of the Georgia 
Trustees, which at this time included practically everybody, their 
rations of food and other necessities. 

Now swaying back to an angle that would have been dangerous 
except for the balancing weight of his stomach, he intoned, "Mr. 
Oglethorpe, may I express to you my happiness as well as the 
happiness of all Savannahians in your safe return?" 

"Thank you, Mr. Causton. I'm delighted to be back." 

"I trust, sir, you had a pleasant crossing?" 

"No, that I cannot say, for 'twas monstrously stormy! More than 
once I despaired of ever seeing this land again." James Oglethorpe 
looked about him, drawing all those close by into the conversation. 
"I went on board the Symonds on October fourteenth and here it is 
February. Just think of it!" 

"You mean, sir, you've been on the high seas for four months?" 
Thomas Causton questioned, 

"Well, no, not exactly. You see, this voyage I set out with three 



ships. Besides the Symonds, there were the London Merchant and 
His Majesty's man-of-war, the Hatu^ which wasn't ready on 
schedule and delayed us in port until the weather became exceed- 
ingly foul, which delayed us still further. As you no doubt know, 
I'm planning a new settlement, approximately one hundred miles 
to the south of Savannah, at the mouth of the Altamaha River, and 
so I brought over with me two hundred twenty-seven persons, most 
of them stronghearted and strong-limbed Highlanders." 

Heather's hands spread across her chest. She had heard no word 
of this development and it startled her. Why was James Oglethorpe 
beginning a new settlement when Savannah itself was in such dire 
need of people? In order to hear better, she twisted herself sideways 
and eased nearer. 

"And are all three ships anchored off Tybee Island now?" 
Thomas Causton asked, placing the tip of his index finger to the 
tip of his nose, preparatory to exercising them both. 

"The Symonds and London Merchant are there, but I can't say 
where the HawJ^ is; we parted company with her ten days out in a 
very high wind." 

"How unfortunate, sir; but I presume we'll be seeing the Sy- 
monds and the London Merchant off the Bluff here shortly?" 

"No, they won't come up to Savannah at all, but will go directly 
to the Altamaha." 

"Haven't you any passengers, sir, for Savannah?" There was the 
merest hint of surprise and accusation in Thomas Causton's big 
voice. 

"Oh, yes, indeed!" James Oglethorpe nodded his head emphati- 
cally and spoke with enthusiasm. "There are some Moravians to 
join those already here, some Salzburgers for the village of Eb- 
enezer and a new minister of the Church of England. They will be 
transferred to small boats that will bring them up to the town." 

"They will all be most welcome," Thomas Causton boomed and 
opened his mouth to say more, but James Oglethorpe, smiling and 
moving his hand in a gesture of dismissal, turned away to greet 
Thomas Christie, the recorder of the Court. He was a small, neat 
man with a thickly freckled face and baby-blue eyes, one of which 
appeared smaller than the other, for the lid drooped. He boasted 



he had been a shopkeeper in London, but the Savannah gossip had 
it that he had sold nothing more lucrative than secondhand clothes 
and rags at a corner stall in Cheapside. 

Their exchange was brief and then Heather, in spite of feeling 
some timidity, stepped up and said gaily, "Welcome back, sir!" 

"I thank you, Heather," James Oglethorpe answered and gazed 
directly into her gold eyes. "By jove, you've become a young lady, 
and a beautiful one at that." 

The blood suffused her face, drowning out the freckles along 
her nose. "We rejoice, Mr. Oglethorpe, that you've returned to 
Georgia." 

" 'Tis most kind of you," he said earnestly; then his eyes left her 
face and darted among the crowd. "Are Jason and Mistress Truly 
somewhere about?" 

"Oh, sir, Papa and Mama are out at the Lot. They went out at 
sunrising before the news of your arrival reached Savannah. Luckily 
for me I was at home preparing the victuals for dinner so I heard 
the tidings in time to come and greet you." She talked in a rush, 
as she always did, her voice full and lively and her whole face 
beaming. 

"If you will be so good, Heather, give them my felicitations." 

She moved aside then, but continued to linger in earshot until 
James Oglethorpe, having spoken to a dozen or so other friends and 
acquaintances, started across the open Strand that stretched between 
the river and Bay Street. 

Savannah was laid out almost as regularly as a checkerboard with 
eight wide, straight, sandy streets (not counting the alleys between 
them) running east and west and five north and south, except 
that four large squares lay in the heart of the town, forcing the 
streets to go around them. Abreast of the sidewalks, but a goodly 
distance apart to prevent fires from spreading, stood approximately 
a hundred small clapboard houses, almost bare of trees and shrubs. 
In fact, there were only eight full-sized trees in all of the town: 
four sky-whisking pines on the Strand and four in Johnson Square, 
the square nearest the river. Most of the shops lined the only side 
of Bay Street, the south side, facing the Strand. Here were butcher, 
haberdasher, tallow chandler, apothecary, tailor and wigmaker shops, 



and taverns and coffee-houses. Closer to the riverbank were the 
Guardhouse, the whipping post and stocks. 

Her eyes alert with amused curiosity, Heather watched James 
Oglethorpe's black-stockinged, long, loose-jointed legs cover effort- 
lessly the spread of soft gray-white sand. He seemed to be headed 
for the house on the corner of Bay and Bull streets, knoxvn as the 
Widow Overend's house. The Widow Overend no longer occupied 
it; she had deserted the Colony shortly after James Oglethorpe 
went back to England; but he had lived there with her during his 
first year's sojourn, causing many a tongue to wag, and evidently 
he still considered it his home. . . . Ah, yes, that was exactly where 
he was going. 

Her curiosity satisfied. Heather hoisted up her skirt and full 
petticoats and began to run lightly in the same direction. After a 
few steps, however, she was stopped by her seven-year-old brother, 
Bobby, jumping from behind one of the pines on the Strand and 
flinging himself upon her. 

<f l frightened you, didn't I?" he shouted at the top of his voice. 
"I frightened you!" He wrapped his arms with all his strength 
about her small waist and stared up breathlessly into her face. 

"Yes, you did frighten me awfully," she answered, grinning down 
at him and rubbing her hand through his fair hair; then ordered, 
"Turn me a-loose now, Bobby dear. I must hasten home and pre- 
pare the dinner." 

"You wanta race?" he demanded. "You wanta?" 
"Certainly, and I'll beat you, too." 

It was a difficult race for Heather, who was particular about 
where she put her feet. Though the streets and sidewalks were 
broad, they were crowded with weeds, plops of cow dung, drop- 
pings of geese, fish heads and bones, oyster and crab shells, corn- 
cobs, pools of slops, fragments of rags and other refuse; nevertheless 
at the corner of Bull and Duke, she was still ahead. She slowed 
then to make the turn to the left and to allow Bobby to pass her 
she couldn't ever bear to beat him; then shouting, "Look out, Fm 
going to catch you," sprinted just behind him until they reached 
their house, which was the last on Duke at the corner o Drayton 
Street. Panting and giggling they collapsed upon the single step to 
the front door. 

16 



The dimensions and plans of the house were exactly the same as 
the other first twenty-one built by communal labor during the early 
months of Savannah's establishment. It was twenty-four feet wide 
and sixteen feet deep, with two almost square rooms on each side 
of the hall and a cockloft above. 

It was fashioned of clapboards, floored with uneven planks an 
inch and a half thick, and roofed with wooden shingles that were 
already in three years mellowing to the color of silvery-gray slate. 
Sitting just two logs off the ground, flush with the street, the door- 
way in the center with two square windows flanking it, it resem- 
bled a crude picture-book house the sort of house that Heather, 
or even Bobby for that matter, might have drawn. Yet, Heather 
thought it was beautiful and loved it. 

She not only loved the house; she loved this whole country of 
Georgia where the sun shone at least eight months out of the year 
hot and bright as a silver soup ladle in the blue tureen of the sky; 
and where the land soared with majestic trees, hung like Christmas 
mantles with long, loosely knit stockings of gray moss and with 
wild grape, smilax and jessamine vines, and where the broad, cof- 
fee-colored river swelled and ebbed with a weakening tide. 

Gazing now across the cleared space beyond Drayton Street into 
the junglelike woods that marched on and on, unevenly, unend- 
ingly, forever, her face grew thoughtful. Here was space beyond 
her comprehension; space for all the beggars and broken-down 
shopkeepers and debtors of London if there were only ship bottoms 
to bring them and money to support them until they could support 
themselves. 

She breathed deeply of the soft, caressing, sweet-smelling air, 
rousing herself, and looked casually about for Bobby, who had 
slipped away without her noticing no doubt to the alley that ran 
behind the house and went inside to fix the early afternoon meal. 
Pungent cedar logs, which seemed an unbelievable luxury, were 
already burning in the big brick fireplace, so she put the kettle on 
to boil and began to wash the tender new turnip greens that she 
had gathered early that morning when they were still wet with dew 
from the back-yard garden. 

Breaking oil the worm-punctured and yellowed leaves and swish- 
ing the good green crinkly ones about in a pewter basin of cold 

17 



water to free them of sand, her mind turned back to James Ogle- 
thorpe. He had been a hero to her just three years ago; a veritable 
knight in shining armor. He had rescued her, Truly, Jason, Bobby 
and one hundred and ten other poverty-stricken human beings 
from the fearsome shadow of debtor prison by taking them out of 
England and resettling them in Georgia. 

Their resettlement had been the outgrowth of a scheme that he 
had conceived some years before to empty the overcrowded, insect- 
infested, disease-ridden London jails of those persons thrown into 
them solely because of debt. His concern for them had been aroused 
when one of his close friends, a distinguished architect who lived 
beyond his means, had landed in debtor prison and died of the 
smallpox that was raging there. 

As Heather was very young at the time, she wasn't familiar with 
all the steps that James Oglethorpe had taken to promote his 
scheme, but she knew he had talked to dozens of his rich and 
influential friends until he persuaded them to join him in a pledge 
to assume all obligations for founding a colony of indigent people 
in the New World if King George would grant them a portion of 
land lying south of the Savannah River. 

King George was agreeable to it and he ordered a charter pre- 
pared incorporating twenty-one Englishmen, including, naturally, 
James Oglethorpe, into a body to be known as The Trustees for 
Establishing the Colony of Georgia in America. 

However, by the time enough money had been got together for 
the Trustees to send over the first boatload of emigrants, James 
Oglethorpe's original idea of emptying the prisons of debtors must 
have been considerably altered, for in the many glowing articles 
and advertisements appearing in the London papers, urging people 
to settle in Georgia, no reference whatsoever was made to whether 
they were in or out of jail. 

Those applying to go were divided into two groups: freeholders 
and indentured servants of the Trustees, the latter to do public 
works, such as building the crane for hauling up the goods from 
the river, the Store, the palisades and the battery; the laying out of 
streets and parks; working in the Public Garden and looking after 
the Trustees' cattle. 

18 



To encourage people to apply, they were not only promised free 
passage, but land and maintenance for the first year. Each freeholder 
was to receive fifty acres of land to be divided into three plots: a 
house plot in Savannah, sixty feet wide by ninety feet deep; a lot 
of five acres, a mile or so away from the town, and the remaining 
forty-four and a fraction acres in a more distant location. 

Then for maintenance each man was to get 312 pounds of beef 
or pork, 104 pounds of Indian corn or peas, 104 pounds of flour, 
one pint of strong beer a day when he worked and none if he 
didn't, fifty-two quarts of molasses for brewing beer, sixteen pounds 
of cheese, twelve pounds of butter, eight ounces of spice, twelve 
pounds of sugar, four gallons of vinegar, twenty-four pounds of salt, 
twelve quarts of lamp oil, one pound of spun cotton and twelve 
pounds of soap. 

And every woman or child over twelve was to get 260 pounds of 
meat, six quarts of lamp oil, and one-half pound of spun cotton, but 
no beer, though they could have molasses for brewing it. And every 
child between twelve and seven was to have half of that amount 
and everyone between seven and two, a quarter of it. 

The Trustees made no allowance for babies under two, figuring, 
no doubt, that they fed only at their mothers' breasts. 

Also, every man was to receive a watch coat, a musket and 
bayonet, a hatchet, a hammer, a handsaw, a hoe, a shovel or spade, 
a gimlet, a drawing knife, an iron pot and a pair of pothooks and 
a frying pan. 

Readifig these terms, Jason, after talking over the matter at 
length with his wife, Truly, and more briefly with young Heather, 
sent in his application to go. Though he had never been in debtor 
prison, he was deep in debt and lived in terror that he would some- 
day be committed. 

Heather's jaws set tight as she recalled this old fear of her 
father's and with quick, angry gestures she tossed the washed greens 
into the boiling kettle; then slammed the empty pewter basin onto 
the table. It was so unjust that her father should have been so 
troubled. He had got into debt not because of laziness or careless- 
ness, but simply because of the bigness of his heart. 

Jason had been born in Leominster; had attended a Latin school 



there until he was fourteen; then had gone to London and become 
a clerk-assistant to the Vintner Company, When he was twenty-four 
he had saved enough money to marry Truly. 

Heather was born the first year of their union; then two more 
girls were born, both of them dying in infancy, and then came 
Bobby. The children's births and illnesses had run Jason into debt, 
but he was in no danger of being sent to prison until he went on 
bond for a fellow Vintner worker, who a few months later skipped 
the country. 

Of course when that happened he found himself in alarming 
circumstances, for no matter how hard he worked, he could never 
save enough money out of his small salary to pay the bond, It 
would be only a matter of time, he feared, before the assignee of 
the escaped man had him committed to the Fleet. 

To settle in Georgia seemed the one way out of his predicament, 
but for many tense weeks the Trustees failed to pass favorably on 
his application. One of the many requirements of this initial em- 
barkation was that the applicant, if a debtor, must have permission 
from his creditor or creditors to leave England, and this permission 
Jason could not get. Though his creditor led him to believe he 
would wink at his going, he refused to sign any paper. 

Then just ten days before the ship the Ann was its name was 
to sail, the Trustees made an exception in his case. They suddenly 
realized they should have an accountant to check the daybooks of 
the Store that were to be a record of what each settler withdrew 
and what was still due him. Some weeks earlier they had hired 
Mr. Causton and a clerk; but it wasn't until they began the actual 
purchasing of food, clothes, medicines and other necessities that they 
realized how extensive the paper work of the Colony would be. 
And so Jason and his family were accepted and, accompanied by 
James Oglethorpe himself, sailed for Georgia. 

But life in Georgia hadn't been nearly as rosy as they had been led 
to expect from the advertisements, Heather reflected, walking with 
very short, brisk steps to the corner cupboard to get out the loaf of 
bread baked the day before in the town oven and the week's allow- 
ance of cheese. The early months they had lived in huge tents, the 
women and children in one, the men in the other, pitched on the 
Strand near James Oglethorpe's. The canvas walls had afforded 

20 



practically no protection in the torrential rains of late winter and 
early spring, and the people and their pitiful belongings were 
drenched again and again. They even spread every dish and pan 
they had over their pallets, struggling in vain to keep them dry. 
Then much of the land, instead of being rich black mulch as they 
had been led to expect, was poor, sandy, pine-barren stretches or 
junglelike swamps, and it was given to them with several strings 
attached. James Oglethorpe had explained these restrictions with a 
great show of enthusiasm. 

"As the establishment of Georgia is the most interesting and 
unselfish relief project in English history, its laws and regulations 
differ from all others," he had said animatedly. "Your land will be 
granted to you in tail male rather than tail general, which simply 
means if a man dies without a male heir the land will revert to the 
Trustees to be regranted. In this way the Trustees hope that on 
every fifty acres there will always be an able-bodied man for the 
defense of the Colony. 

"And furthermore," James Oglethorpe had rushed on, "you can't 
mortgage, sell or alienate your land, for it is not granted to you 
outright, that is, in fee simple." 

Then, on top of everything else, Jason's job as accountant had 
been short-lived; he had found it impossible to keep the daybooks, 
for Thomas Causton and his favored friends refused to sign for the 
merchandise they withdrew from the Store and so he had resigned 
and turned to odd secretarial jobs and the cultivation of his lot. He 
didn't complain but Heather knew he found planting the worst sort 
of drudgery and she was deeply troubled about him. He simply 
must succeed in this new land. A sensitive man like Jason, already 
once disillusioned by a false friend, would surely lose confidence in 
himself if he was unable, after a reasonable time, to support himself 
and his family. 

Shaking her head vigorously to dislodge even a surmise of pos- 
sible failure, Heather finished slicing the bread and cheese, tossed a 
fresh log on the fire, almost upsetting the kettle o greens, and 
hurried to the front door to look along Duke Street for Jason and 
Truly. Spying them turning the corner, she darted back into the 
house, drew three mugs of beer from the hogshead at the back door 
and needlessly shifted the bread and cheese a few inches to the 
right. 

21 



Almost immediately Jason, followed a little behind by Truly, 
walked in. Jason Forsyth was a thin, wiry man with a small head 
over which the skin was drawn so economically that when he 
smiled or laughed almost noiselessly, as was his way, as if gasping 
for breath, only shallow wrinkles showed about his wide mouth 
and dark brown eyes. Not even Heather, who adored him, could 
think him handsome, but there was a certain air of uprightness 
and earnestness about him that was impressive. 

Truly was considerably better-looking. Though her eyes were 
tiny and deeply set, they were a lovely shade of green; her face was 
long, florid and covered with freckles on the outer reaches of her 
pink, pink cheeks; and her hair was dark red, curly and unruly. 

With a rush, Heather threw herself upon her father first, kissing 
him on both cheeks and patting his shoulders lightly and rapidly 
with her small, graceful hands; then ran to her mother, kissing 
her not only on the cheeks, but also upon the forehead. 

"My dears," she said with warmth, "did you have a hard morn- 
ing? Are you exhausted?" 

She stood a few steps back, clasped the fingers of her right hand 
in the palm of her left above die crease of her breasts and eyed them 
intently. "Oh, you've been working yourselves to the bone whilst 
Bobby and I have been welcoming Mr. Oglethorpe back. You're 
already acquainted, of course, of Mr. Oglethorpe s s coming?" 

"Yes," answered Jason, "we heard as soon as we reached the out- 
skirts of town. How does he appear?" 

"In the best of health. Papa dear." Heather hurried back and 
forth in short, amazingly quick steps from the fireplace to the ta- 
ble, carrying a stack of pewter bowls and the other utensils for the 
meal. "He doesn't look to have aged at all. And not only has he 
come himself, but he's brought two shiploads of new people for a 
settlement down on the Altamaha River." 

"So I heard. It-" 

"Jason," interrupted Truly, "when are you planning to wait upon 
Mr. Oglethorpe?" 

"How can I say, wife?" 

"You must wait on him with all haste and insist on a new and 
more congenial position," 

22 



Though Truly spoke in commanding tones, Jason answered her 
stoutly. "Nay, wife, I do not believe it is the time yet to approach 
him with my personal affairs." 

"And pray, why not?" Truly flared, impatiently untying her bon- 
net and hanging it on a peg by the door. "You have certainly 
waited long enough to see him." 

Oh, Mama, Heather thought to herself, gripping the bowl for 
the greens tightly, please don't push him so. ... Can't you see he's 
already worried? 

Jason moved deliberately to the table and pulled out a homemade 
rush-bottom chair. "Nevertheless," he said, "we must hold out a 
little longer. Mr. Oglethorpe has many problems to face besides 
mine. The settlers will not fancy those two new laws he succeeded 
in getting Parliament to pass whilst he was in England, especially 
on top of the other restrictions, and he's bound to hear from them." 

"What two new laws, Papa?" Heather raised her eyes from dish- 
ing the greens into the bowl and looked inquiringly at Jason. 

"One prohibiting Negro slaves and one prohibiting rum in the 
Colony." 

"Papa, why didn't you tell me?" 

"I just learned about them a few days ago myself and besides, 
kitten, you're too young to worry your head about such matters." 
Jason grinned at her affectionately. 

Heather's face brightened, but she threw back her head as if pro- 
voked. "I wish you'd remember I'm sixteen, Papa, and whatever 
worries you worries me. It seems to me you ought to know that by 
now." 

"I do, kitten; but still these laws are men's concern." 

"Don't talk like a jackass, Jason," put in Truly tartly. "The 
women are just as much affected by the laws governing Georgia 
as the men. Maybe more so." Her little green eyes sparked. 

"What I can't understand," Heather said, "is Mr. Oglethorpe 
getting such laws passed. Now if he'd never spent that year amongst 

us . . ." 

"You'd best stop gabbing, Heather, until you get the dinner on 
the table," Jason suggested, scraping a piece of cheese into his bowl 
"You're not accomplished enough, you know, to tend to your tasks 
and carry on a serious conversation too." 

23 



Heather gave her father a quick, wide smile. "Nevertheless, 
Papa . . ." 

"Our dinner first, Heather," Jason said with emphasis. 

Heather clamped shut her mouth, but her whole animated face 
and even her small, energetic body seemed about to burst with 
arguments. 



IN honor of James Oglethorpe's return, Thomas Causton 
ordered a bonfire to be built and hogsheads of beer opened and 
served free to the settlers the next evening. 

The Forsyths strolled to the Strand with their closest friends, 
Anne and Henry Parker, and the Parkers' two adopted sons, 
Charles and Peter Tondee. Anne and Henry were much older than 
Heather, though not so old as her parents, but this made no differ- 
ence in her affection for them, for she was not conscious of people's 
ages. She felt as much at home with the contemporaries of Truly 
and Jason as she did with boys and girls of her own age; in fact, 
she tried to mother everybody of whom she was fond, and she had 
been fond of the Parkers since the very day of their arrival during 
the first summer following Georgia's establishment. 

Henry had a way of chuckling quietly and grinning from ear to 
ear as if he were so pleased with life he could not contain himself, 
and his round, popped, soft brown eyes swam with kindliness. Such 
a jolly, beaming face should have topped, Heather felt, a roly-poly 
body, but not at all. He was tall and skinny with unusually long 
arms, which he threw about nimbly and extravagantly when he 
talked. 

Anne was tall and slender, too, and her face was narrow with 
high, flushed cheekbones, a thin nose and shiny, almost feverish, 
green-blue eyes. She held her head and body stiffly erect and moved 
with nervous, impatient, swift steps. 

They had arrived in Savannah with two small sons, whom they 
lost immediately. The youngest one, John, had died of dysentery 
just six days after they landed and Henry Junior had died sixteen 
days later. To Heather their deaths had seemed much more tragic 
than the other twenty-nine that had occurred that first terrible 
summer, wiping out one-fourth of the population. She didn't see 

25 



how Anne had resisted killing herself when Henry Junior was 
buried. Of course, it had been woefully sad when John had died, 
but then she still had Henry Junior who needed her every second, 
for his bowels, mixed with blood, were already running freely. But 
when he died ... oh, it was too heartbreaking for words or tears 
or hand wringing or pacing of the floor or beating one's head 
against the thick planks of the bedroom door. Heather, her own 
eyes red with weeping, had watched poor Anne try them all; but 
there had been no surcease from pain for many months. Neverthe- 
less, she and Henry had adopted right away the two small Tondee 
boys, whose father, their only relative in Georgia, had died in the 
same epidemic. 

Now Heather walked toward the celebration on the Strand with 
her arm linked in Henry's. "Were you very busy all day, Mr. 
Parker, getting everything in readiness?" she asked, for Henry was 
second bailiff and usually handled the minor details of the Colony's 
affairs. 

"Hah, fan me ye winds, 'twas a 'urrying and scurrying time/* 
he answered in his peculiar brogue, for it lapsed into Cockney 
without rule or reason. "I had to cope with practically everything 
my own self." Heartily he tapped his flat chest with the grimy 
fingers of both hands. "The Trustees' servants got a-'old of some 
gin that was smuggled up some creek and they was of no hearthly 
use to me. With the sun still high they were sprawled about, dead 
as kilt foxes, all along Bay Street." 

Heather stole a glance at Henry out of the corner of her eyes. 
She was sure he spoke the truth and suspected that he had taken a 
few swigs himself, for his protruding eyes were already beginning 
to have a glazed look. 

"Shoo! Shoo! Shoo!" Henry dropped Heather's arm and swing- 
ing his big hands wildly in front of him ran at a flock of geese 
that waddled into the path. Joyously Bobby, Charles and Peter left 
off the game of leapfrog they were playing and rushed up to help 
him. The next minute the evening peace of Drayton Street was 
shattered with whoops, squawks, hisses and the swishing of frantic 
wings. 

"Come on, we'll be late," Heather called, hoping to divert Henry 
and the boys from the terrified birds, and she began to run toward 
26 



the Strand. When she reached there, the fire was already soaring, the 
fiddlers playing and the people dancing. Quickly she grabbed 
Bobby's hand and joined a raucous group more interested in exer- 
cise than grace and rhythm. A man started out, a woman at his 
heels, and cavorted across the sand in a follow-the-leader dance, 
twirling, bending, skipping and leaping, until another man and 
woman broke upon them to continue the gyrations; then another, 
and another. 

Finally, completely out o breath, her cheeks flushed, her gold eyes 
luminous, Heather left Bobby and sank down by Truly, Jason and 
the Parkers beneath the tall pine under which James Oglethorpe's 
tent had stood the first months after he and the settlers had landed. 

" 'Ave some beer, Heather," invited Henry, holding out a mug to 
her. She gulped down half the contents, wiped the perspiration 
from her face with the crook of her arm, panted for several minutes 
and then hopped up to return to the dance, but stopped when she 
saw James Oglethorpe approaching, striking out at dead, though 
still standing weeds with his ebony-headed walking stick. 

Jason, Truly and the Parkers, glimpsing him at the same time, 
scrambled up too, and stood stiffly waiting to greet him. Reaching 
them, he transferred his stick to his left hand, swept off his hat and 
bowed as deeply as if he were at a levee of Queen Caroline's and 
King George's. 

"Welcome back to Georgia," blurted out Jason, Truly and Anne, 
who had not seen him before. 

"Thank you, my friends," he answered cordially and shook with 
vigor each of their hands. 

Then he turned slightly and remarked to Jason, "I was grieved 
to hear, sir, that you felt in good conscience you couldn't continue 
to keep the Store's accounts." 

"I was grieved too, sir, but Mr. Causton and his thick-skulled 
clerk kept such slipshod ledgers, 'twas impossible to audit them." 

"I strove, sir, to argue him out of it," Truly put in hastily, "but 
he wouldn't listen to me." 

"Lord God, Truly," cried Jason in exasperation. "How do you 
figure I could balance the accounts if Mr. Causton and his favorites 
failed to sign in the daybooks for what they withdrew?" 

James Oglethorpe scowled, drawing his bushy brows close to- 

27 



gether, and looked for a moment as if he would pursue the subject; 
but after a slow shake of his head and a deep sigh, he seemed to 
think better of it and asked, "But tell me, Jason, how are you faring 
without the accountant's salary?" 

Heather stared at James Oglethorpe out of the corner of her eye, 
her head cocked a little to one side, in a fashion peculiar to both her 
and Truly. He sounded concerned and she hoped for her father's 
sake he really was. 

"Fortunately for me," Jason answered, "Recorder Christie has 
rheumatism in his right arm and side so bad he can scarcely scrib- 
ble, so I am assisting him with his bookkeeping and he pays me a 
small stipend. The rest of the time I work on my land." 

"But he's no planter, Mr. Oglethorpe," broke in Truly brusquely. 
"When I married him he was an accountant and that is what he 
should remain. He really has no notion about the land." 

"I will learn to be a planter, wife." 

"I suppose like others have learned," Truly said with bitter 
sarcasm, her green eyes flashing. "As you well know, right this day 
so-called planters are selling their household goods and begging on 
the streets." 

Jason's face darkened. "Be that as it may, Truly, I think we've 
bored Mr. Oglethorpe long enough about our personal affairs." He 
spoke with finality; then, turning back to James Oglethorpe, re- 
marked, "I hear, sir, you're founding a new settlement at the mouth 
of the Altamaha River?" 

"Yes, that's correct." James Oglethorpe stroked gently the side 
of his large, classic nose with the long middle finger of his right 
hand. 

"I'm sure you know best, sir," Jason said most courteously, "but 
unacquainted as I am with all the facts, I would have deemed it 
wiser to strengthen this settlement of Savannah than to have begun 
a new one farther south." 

"Nay, Jason, Georgia needs an outpost nearer Florida." 

"Why, sir?" asked Heather quickly. 

"Because, Heather, the Spaniards are always land-hungry and 
I'm apprehensive that those in Florida aren't going to be satisfied 
to stay forever below the St. John's River." 

28 



"But so far they haven't displayed any aggressiveness toward us, 
have they?" Heather questioned, her voice excited. 

"No . . . not yet," James Oglethorpe answered slowly; then 
hesitated. 

Not waiting for him to continue Heather persisted, "Then, sir, 
don't you think you're running a chance of antagonizing them by 
planting a settlement so close to them?" 

"Heather, Heather," murmured Jason, frowning and shaking his 
head at her, trying to shut her up. 

But she paid no attention to him. "It does seem to me, Mr. Ogle- 
thorpe, if you deliberately settle right in their front yard, you're 
asking for trouble." 

Hot, white lights flashed in James Oglethorpe's hazel eyes; 
however, his tones continued cool and even. "You may rest assured, 
Heather, that I've considered that possibility. Nevertheless, I've 
decided 'tis necessary that we in Georgia face realistically the fact 
that Spain is England's long-time enemy and be prepared to defend 
ourselves." 

Heather clasped her hands tightly between her breasts that were 
rising and falling noticeably. 

"Sir," both Jason and Henry began, but James Oglethorpe 
held up his hand peremptorily. "I'm not saying, you understand, 
that the Spaniards are going to attack Georgia; I'm just saying that 
in case they do, we must be prepared." 

Bobby, Charles and Peter, followed by a half-dozen other boys, 
yelling like savages, tore through the middle of the group. Truly 
called after them to protest their rudeness, but gave up when Henry, 
waving his lower arm to and fro from an outstretched, rigid elbow, 
raised his voice above hers to say, "I'm not so concerned, sir, about 
the Spaniards down there in Florida. What troubles me is that new 
law prohibiting Negro slaves in Georgia. I would have thought, 
sir, you being familiar with our situation 'ere, would 'ave under- 
stood the necessity for slaves." 

"With all deference to you, Mr. Parker, I disagree with you with 
all my heart," James Oglethorpe said forceably. "Wherever Negroes 
are, white men grow idle. I believe the idleness of the town of 
Savannah right now is chiefly owing to the people seeing the Ne- 
groes in Carolina." 

29 



The air grew tense. Eyes narrowed, jaws hardened, shoulders 
stiffened. 

"Why, sir, I can't understand your saying that," protested Jason, 
his manner outwardly polite, but as Heather could see, inwardly 
seething. "If the people in Savannah are idle it is because the terrific 
heat in summer and the damp, raw cold in winter are too severe 
for their English constitutions. In spite of the poetic descriptions 
that the Trustees published in the London papers about the climate 
here, the truth is that it is not fit for white men to do hard labor 
in. They simply can't stand up under it; only Negro slaves can do 
that." 

"Jason, I must differ with you," James Oglethorpe said, his voice 
harsh. "I the settlers are honestly desirous of clearing and planting 
the land, I am confident they can manage it without slaves/' 

Jason rubbed nervously the palm of his left hand across the bent 
fingers of his right one. "If you will forgive me for saying so, sir, 
I can't see eye to eye with you on that statement; but even if I 
could, I'd like to remind you that only a meager handful of the 
people are interested in planting. As you know, sir, amongst the 
original settlers there was only one listed as 'understanding farming/ 
one as a 'husbandman* and one as a 'gardener.' All the rest, except- 
ing one surgeon and one apothecary, were carpenters, tradesmen, 
wigmakers, wheelwrights, potash makers and tailors. How can you 
expect them, sir, to labor in the woods and fields, especially in the 
killing heat of summer and with no assurance of the land ever 
belonging to them outright?" 

A dozen or more men and women, noticing the discussion 
between the Georgia leader and Jason, had hurriedly gathered 
around, their faces solemn and intent in the flickering, pinkish 
glare of the flames. Among them were Thomas Causton, Recorder 
Christie and another one of the original settlers, Noble Jones, a 
broad, scarlet-faced individual in his late thirties, who was on 
friendlier terms with James Oglethorpe than the others, for he had 
been born in Lambeth, a village in the County of Surrey, not far 
from the Oglethorpes' ancestral estate at Godalming. Though he 
had been a part-time practitioner of medicine in England, he was a 
much more skilled carpenter and had come to Georgia in that 
30 



capacity. However, James Oglethorpe used him chiefly as a sur- 
veyor. 

Noble now stepped forward and said in a low, embarrassed 
mutter, "I offer you my apologies, Mr. Oglethorpe, but I agree with 
Jason that Negroes are necessary if this Colony is ever to prosper." 

James Oglethorpe's quivering jaws tightened and his eyes nar- 
rowed to fiery slits. "Well then, Noble, it will never prosper," he 
answered violently, "for as long as I have anything to say about it, 
slaves will not be allowed. I pledge it on my word of honor." 

There was an uneasy silence, most of the people staring down at 
the ground; then, as if in afterthought, James Oglethorpe said, 
"Besides the reasons I've already mentioned against admitting 
slaves, there is the grave danger inherent in having them so close to 
the Spanish frontier." 

Heather drew in a quick breath. The Spaniards must really 
weigh heavily on the Georgia leader's mind. 

"Suppose, my friends, that the Spaniards did launch an invasion 
against this Colony," he continued, "and we had slaves amongst 
us. Why at the very first shot, the slaves would rise up and do all 
in their bloody power to assist the enemy. No, never, never will I 
permit Negro slaves here." His knuckles were white on the handle 
of his walking stick. 

For several nervous seconds the crowd stood mute; then Thomas 
Causton said, "I see your point, Mr. Oglethorpe, but if the number 
of slaves were limited . . ." 

James Oglethorpe drew himself up to his full height. "I don't 
care, Mr. Causton, to discuss the matter further on what is sup- 
posed to be a festive occasion." The words were clipped; his 
chiseled features hard as stone. 

For the next few minutes no one seemed even to breathe; then 
there was a shuffling of feet and Recorder Christie said with an 
air of jocularity which failed miserably to hide his tenseness, "What 
worries me, your Excellency, is just how us Magistrates will hinder 
the people from drinking rum. Act or no act of Parliament, the 
people are desirous of rum and they will have it if they have to 
smuggle it in." 

"That's right," exclaimed Henry enthusiastically, his popped, 

31 



glassy eyes reflecting the dancing flames o the fire. "No law, no 
man, no violence, no tea, no punch will wean Henglishmen away 
from their rum." 

Several of the settlers started to laugh, but glancing at James 
Oglethorpe and seeing no amusement on his face, stopped abruptly. 

Nevertheless Recorder Christie's weak lid appeared to droop in a 
wink and he said, "I do have, though, one solution to offer the 
good small beer I'm planning to brew. I'm going to market it for 
ten shillings a barrel and it is just as good as any I've tasted in 
London at that price." 

"Well, we'll see for ourselves when your brewery starts produc- 
ing," Jason said dryly. 

James Oglethorpe added no comment but, unsmiling, lifted his 
hand to his hat, removed it and bowed toward Heather, Truly and 
Anne. "It has been my pleasure, ladies . . ." Then to the men, 
"And you, sirs." He took a half-dozen long steps; then stopped and 
turned back. "Jason," he said, with no trace of irritation in his 
tones, "I wonder if you'd be so kind as to assist me with some 
letters in the morning. The Trustees have sent along this time a 
Mr. Francis Moore to keep them informed about my activities; 
but unfortunately I left him on the Symonds? 

"I'm at your service, sir," Jason answered. 

The Georgia leader, accompanied by Noble Jones, walked on then 
and when he was out of earshot Jason, heaving an exaggerated sigh, 
said, "I was frightened there for a while we might rile him too 
much. I always remember whenever I see him getting angry that 
time he kilt that linkman." 

"What did you say, Papa?" asked Heather, her eyes startled. 

"Ah, Heather, you are familiar with that story." 

"Nay, I never heard it." 

"Well, I read it in the London Daily Journal" Jason began, his 
thin body leaning forward and his dark, narrow face animated, for 
he enjoyed being the center of attention more than most men, "long 
before I ever dreamed I'd know him personally. He had just been 
chosen to the Parliament and to celebrate he went into a house of 
ill repute without Temple Bar and, getting overcome with wine, 
began mixing with a promiscuous company of hackney coachmen, 
shoeblackers and linkmen." 

32 



"It doesn't appear like a thing he would do," Heather protested. 

"He was a young man then, remember? Anyway, during the 
evening, he missed a piece of gold and charged a link fellow with 
taking it from him. High words followed and the linkman struck 
Mr. Oglethorpe several blows with his link." 

"Oh!" Heather said on a sighing breath. 

"Naturally, Mr. Oglethorpe resented such usage and drew his 
sword and gave the fellow a mortal wound in the breast, at which 
Mr. Oglethorpe was seized and carried before a justice if I recall 
correctly his name was Justice Sweet who committed him to the 
Gate House." 

"Blood and wounds!" cried Heather, whirling about in her ex- 
citement. "How long was he locked up?" 

"I don't rightly recollect about that; but I dare say he pleaded 
self-defense and was promptly excused." 

They all looked around guiltily to discover James Oglethorpe's 
whereabouts and saw with relief that he was leaving the Strand. 

Others took note of his departure, too, and the pulse of the party 
quickened. More cedar and pine logs were tossed on the fire; 
another hogshead of beer was tapped and even some gin and rum 
were stealthily passed around. Getting their second wind, the people 
danced, played charades, staged impromptu skits, rode each other 
piggyback, fought and made love right out in the open. Recorder 
Christie, unmindful of his rheumatism, rolled in the sand with a 
buxom, dark-skinned, black-eyed woman whom he and only he 
referred to as his housekeeper. 

Henry, though, outdid everyone. Very drunk by now, he joined 
a circle of dancing Indians from the nearby village of Yamacraw 
Bluff and plunged about, stomping his feet, clapping his hands 
and whooping with no regard at all for the time beat out on drums 
by three copper-colored, half-naked youths. Once Jason, fearing 
there would be an unpleasant incident, coaxed him out, but the 
minute Jason turned his back, Henry returned, stomping and 
clapping harder than ever and grinning smugly and sillily at the 
people watching. 

However, at last the beer, gin and rum gave out and the celebra- 
tion broke up. Taking turns carrying the three sleeping boys, the 
Forsyths accompanied the Parkers to their house, far out Bull on 

33 



the corner of York, to be sure Henry got there safely. Weary as they 
were, they still had life enough to sing, "John, come fyss me now, 
now, now . . ." 

Finally reaching the house, Heather said to Henry, "Good night 
Mr. Parker. 'Twas a jolly, jolly party. Please let's have another one 
soon." 

But she didn't mean within the hour as Henry evidently took it, 
for the Forsyths had just got into bed when Henry, trailed by a 
furious, blazing-eyed, sputtering Anne, appeared at the front door, 
beat upon it and bawled, "Get hup, get hup, you sleepyheads, and 
le's us play whisk." 

Hastily Heather slipped into a wrapper, picked up her still- 
lighted candle and opened the door. "Now, now, Mr. Parker," she 
murmured, "you don't want to play whisk this time of night." 

"I do sho hindeed," he insisted belligerently., pushing by her and 
staggering down the hall to the kitchen. 

Heather threw a half-amused, half-sympathetic glance at Anne, 
still standing tensely in the door, her clenched hands on her slim 
hips, her chin jutting forward and her eyes blazing. "Maybe, 
Mistress Parker, we should have just one game," she suggested 
tentatively. 

"Nay, nay, Heather; then he will never go home." 

Heather put her arm around Anne's shoulder; then chuckling 
softly said, "Just one game to humor him?" 

"All right then, just one game." 

Heather knocked briskly on her parents' door and went in. "Papa, 
Mr. Parker wishes to play whisk." 

"Hell's fire!" Jason shouted. "Why in God's name did you let 
him in? Haven't you a particle of gumption?" He reared up on his 
elbow. "I haven't the slightest intention of playing whisk this 
hour of the night." 

"Hush, Papa, he will hear you . . ." 

"I don't give a Goddamn. I'm tired, do you hear? Tired. I'm not 
playing whisk this . . ." 

"Who shays he isn't playing whisk?" Henry stood in the bedroom 
door, his glinting eyes fixed, his tall body swaying. 

"Henry Parker, you go home where you belong," Truly ordered 

34 



angrily. "You hear me, Henry Parker, get out of this house this 
minute and go home where you belong." 

"Oh, Mama, please don't speak to him in that fashion," pleaded 
Heather in a whisper. "He doesn't know what he's doing." 

In spite of the whisper Henry heard her and slowly, arduously, 
turned his popped eyes upon her. "I don't know whash I'm doing, 
eh? You'll shee, young lady. I've come to play whisk and I'm play- 
ing whisk." 

He lunged across the room to the bed, snatched the covers off, 
took a grip on Jason's skinny ankle and jerked him onto the floor. 

Heather tossed back her head and whooped; she couldn't help it. 
Dignified, proper Jason struggling to get his woolen nightgown 
down over his private parts, swearing all the time, was the most 
ludicrous sight she'd ever seen. 

Still, there was no playing of cards. Jason shoved Henry, who 
suddenly was horrified at what he had done and was meek as a 
lamb, out of the front door, bolted it and hustled back to bed. 

It was already daylight and beginning to rain very hard. 



35 



m 



WHEN Heather waked much later that morning the whole 
wide world seemed to be running, streaming, splashing, drowning 
with water. She lay for a few minutes listening to it. She liked the 
sound of rain, especially when she was in bed; it somehow made 
her feel snug and cozy inside. At last, though, she dragged herself 
up (for such a lively, vital person, she was amazingly slow waking 
up in the mornings), walked over to the small window and studied 
the sky. 

There was no hint of the sun. All the curving span in the east 
was the nondescript shade of the sand in the back yard; but blowing 
and curling over it like chicken feathers were clouds of a darker 
hue. It would more than likely rain all day, she decided, and she 
wouldn't be able to work outside, which was a shame, for there 
was so much to do to get the land ready for spring planting. 

However, in the early afternoon the sun came out even more 
dazzlingly bright than usual, as if renewed from its morning siesta, 
and polished to a high sheen everything it touched. The shallow 
puddles in the streets mirrored the sky, now serenely blue, and the 
little, new pointed leaves of a pear tree glowed as amber-rich as 
the ears of a roasted pig. 

Impulsively, Heather decided to leave Truly, who was suffering 
with a headache which she claimed was from lack of sleep, and 
hurry to the Bluff to watch the activity on the river, Jason had told 
her at dinnertime that James Oglethorpe was loading his cutter 
with provisions and beer to take to the new settlers at the mouth of 
the Savannah. 

She grabbed up the leather bucket from the shelf in the kitchen, 
hurried to the public well on the corner of Bull Street and the alley 
that ran between Duke and Broughton streets, drew it full of icy 
spring water and hurried back with it. Not stopping to heat it, she 

36 



poured it into a small iron tub and, gasping and moaning at its 
chilliness, scrubbed herself vigorously. For no reason, she had the 
feeling that something wonderfully exciting was going to happen 
to her, but this was not at all unusual; almost every day she had 
this feeling. Finally she put on her best dark-green, tightly laced, 
woolen bodice and skirt to match. 

The pains she had taken seemed fully justified as soon as she 
reached the embankment for, on the narrow beach, forty feet below 
her, she spotted a sturdily built, clean, shiny, open-faced young man 
whom she had seen a couple of times of late about Savannah. She 
drew in her breath sharply and her hand flew to her hair to push it 
in place with light, trembling gestures. 

The young man was just one of the crew of ten, busily loading 
the cutter and yet she had singled him out instantly. A faint frown 
of surprise and confusion touched her face. She must be daffy, she 
told herself, and with a shrug of her shoulders looked determinedly 
away to the middle of the river where a three-masted schooner, the 
James, tugged halfheartedly at her anchor. Sun-browned, shouting 
sailors swarmed over the decks and rigging; but in a few seconds 
her glance rested again upon the cutter at her feet. 

James Oglethorpe was as proud of this craft as hunters are of 
their hounds. He frequently boasted that he bought it at a great 
bargain in Charles Town. "All her rigging is in good condition," 
he declared smugly, "and I got her with everything cable anchor, 
sails, everything for fifty pounds sterling, though she cost her 
owners two hundred pounds. She mounts six swivel guns and is a 
prime sailor." 

Its crew now was crossing the gangplank, almost hidden beneath 
barrels of beer, both strong and small; baskets of bread; bunches 
of turnips; radishes; heads of lettuce and other early garden greens; 
and dozens of wild turkeys and venison brought in that morning 
by Indian hunters at James Oglethorpe's request. 

As Heather watched them, Jason strolled up and joined her. 
Following her eyes, he said, "Those boatmen are as fearless and 
tough as savages. They live chiefly by their wits, notwithstanding 
the Trustees pay them a small salary when the money is available. 
They fare pretty well, too an abundance of deer, oysters, fish, crab, 
shrimp . . ." 

37 



"Hush, Papa, you're making me hungry." 

"But you've just finished your dinner, my girl*' 

"I know, but I'm like Bobby hungry all the time except when 
I'm eating." As her rich chuckles ran out, she dipped her chin a 
little to one side. 

Then she looked again for the sturdy young man. He was fling- 
ing a whole doe on his broad shoulders. When he had it balanced 
to suit him, he strode across the gangplank with an air of such 
assurance that it bordered on cockiness and disappeared into a small 
cabin in the center of the craft. Shortly he reappeared and stood 
in the stern, his legs spread apart and his handsome head lifted as 
he scanned the rim of the Bluff. Seeing Heather, his eyes seemed to 
falter and, with nonchalant grace, he removed his bearskin cap and 
waved it the fraction of a degree; then casually smoothed back his 
satiny blond hair to the narrow black ribbon at the nape of his 
neck. 

Her pulses racing and a smile quivering about her lips, Heather 
started to bow ever, ever so slightly; but at that very moment James 
Oglethorpe appeared. (He really walked lightly as an Indian.) 

"How are you, Heather, after last evening's frolicking?" he 
inquired pleasantly. 

"Very well, sir," she blurted forth breathlessly, for she was flus- 
tered. 

"And you, Jason? Are you in good health, too?" 

"Yes, thank you. And how about yourself, sir?" 

James Oglethorpe didn't take the time to answer. Proceeding 
to the edge of the Bluff, his sharp hazel eyes swept the boat tied to 
the beach; then ranged out into the river where the James lolled. 

"I saw the James' master, Captain Yoakley, playing piquet at 
Mother Penrose's Tavern yesterday," he said, still studying the 
schooner, "and he told me he had a load of provisions he hoped to 
dispose of to the shopkeepers here." 

"The shopkeepers are in want of provisions all right," Jason 
answered. "Their stocks are extremely scarce, but their money is 
even scarcer and everything is very dear. A good cabbage will read- 
ily bring six or eight pence a head; that is, if Captain Yoakley has 
any. The few that come from New York are mostly rotted. And 

38 



even turnips from Carolina are selling at two shillings, two pence 
sterling per bushel." 

James Oglethorpe swung about and eyed Jason with noticeable 
displeasure. "But why should the settlers here have to buy cabbage 
from New York and turnips from Carolina?" he asked brusquely. 
"Why don't they raise their own?" 

Jason waited a second before answering. Then, his voice tightly 
laced, he said, "They do, sir, when they have succeeded in clearing 
sufficient good land. If you will forgive me for saying so, sir, you 
must keep in mind that very little land has been cleared and much 
that has been is either swampy or pine-barren and will raise noth- 
ing." 

"It is not likely that I will forget it, Jason," James Oglethorpe 
answered impatiently. "I've been told about it often enough since 
my return. Even the Salzburgers at Ebenezer have dispatched 
representatives to complain about the barrenness of their land. I plan 
to return to Savannah this very evening and go with them to select 
a new site." 

"Oh no, Mr. Oglethorpe!" Heather protested, her impulsive 
sympathy aroused by the plight of the man. "You already have so 
much to do, sir." 

"Granted, ma'am." He gave her a quick, rueful smile and started 
for the stairs; but suddenly he stopped and asked, "Heather, would 
you like to go down the river with me and see the ships?" 

"Sir, Fd be more than pleased to." She glanced at Jason. 

James Oglethorpe saw the look and hastily turning to Jason, 
added, "And, of course, you, too, sir." 

"Thank you very kindly. I'd enjoy it." 

"Then let's get under way." James Oglethorpe waved his down- 
stretched hands back and forth as if shooing chickens and moved 
once more toward the stairs. 

The next minute Heather's feet touched the bottom of the gang- 
plank and as they did, the sturdy young man sprang up and stood 
at the head of it, waiting for her. 

Over her shoulder, James Oglethorpe called out with a hearty 
raillery which she had never heard in his voice before, "Bart, I'm 
sure you've already made the acquaintance of Miss Heather For- 
syth ? I know you're not one to miss a pretty face." 

39 



"No, sir, I've not had that honor, yet," Bart said in tones so deep 
they seemed to come from the bottom o the river rather than from 
his expansive chest. 

"Well then, Heather, may I present Captain Bart Galloway, my 
coxswain? And Captain Galloway, Miss Forsyth." 

"Your humble servant, ma'am/' Bart grasped the hand Heather 
extended and looked straight into her eager, shining eyes. They 
wavered and her lids fluttered down just as they had done when he 
had tried to catch and hold them twice before on Bull Street. He 
had never seen eyes like them or hair and skin so nearly matching. 
Some people might consider, he supposed, that there was too much 
of a golden sameness about her coloring, but he thought her beau- 
tiful. Absolutely beautiful. 

Still grasping Heather's hand to guide her to a seat in the stern 
of the cutter, Bart turned his head and smiled at her slowly and 
this time she smiled back in her friendliest fashion, her eyes warm 
and twinkling as lighted candles. A tingling sensation swept 
through Bart. 

Hell's hullabaloo, that's curious, he thought to himself. 

However, he had no time to ponder the situation further, for he 
had to man the helm, guide the cutter from the beach to the middle 
of the river and head southeast toward the Atlantic. 

He was a striking figure, standing there in the bow. He had a 
large head, sitting squarely on a big neck, above extremely wide 
and heavy shoulders; yet his stomach was flat, his hips narrow and 
his thighs slim. For such a stalwart young man, his complexion was 
surprisingly delicate. Though the wind and sun had weathered his 
face and hands to a dusty rose, he was naturally very fair and his 
eyes were pale blue beneath lashes and eyebrows that were as 
blond and silky as his hair. 

Reaching the channel of the river, Bart ordered the sails hoisted 
and soon the wind filled them and the high promontory with its 
cluster of small houses and surrounding forests lay behind. Ahead 
were wide, flat acres of water and marsh with as many shades of 
green as a scale has notes. There was the slick olive-green of the 
river, clasping where the sun struck at it a shield of buffed silver; 
and there was the tawny green of the marsh grass, paling to yellow 
as it swayed beneath the persistent thrust of the wind; and there 

40 



was the soft blue-green of myrtle and cedar hummocks, rising here 
and there above the grass like velvet-draped elephants at an English 
county fair. 

Heather was too elated to sit still. She got up and, leaning her 
back against the wall of the cabin, began to breathe deeply of the 
cool, swift, intoxicating air. It smelled of salt and the soaked stalks 
of weeds and of fish and still, sun-steeped lagoon water. 

Bart, appearing at her side after turning over the helm to one of 
the free oarsmen, was amused and delighted at her very apparent 
excitement and, without one word, he winked at her. 

For some time after that she didn't let her eyes stray in Bart's 
direction. Facing the stern, she kept them lowered to the white, 
curly petaled design that the boat stitched on the silky spread of 
water. 

"I could watch the wake of a ship all day," Bart said. "To me it 
is that beautiful." 

"I could too, sir, but I rarely have the opportunity." 

"Now that we are acquainted, perhaps I could arrange for you to 
have the opportunity more frequently." 

In spite of the stiff sea breeze, Heather's cheeks grew hot. 
" 'Twould be most kind, sir," she murmured; then, not knowing 
what to say next, excused herself and went to the bow to stand 
near James Oglethorpe, who was searching through his binoculars 
across the Savannah's widening reaches for a sight of the ships. 

Heather waited for him to lower the glasses; then asked, "Did I 
hear you say, sir, when you arrived, that you had brought us a 
minister of the Church of England?" 

"Aye, Heather, you did." He pulled a fine linen handkerchief 
from his pocket and began to polish the glasses. "I brought over the 
two Wesley brothers, John and Charles. John is to be Savannah's 
new minister and Charles is to be my secretary, though, eventually, 
when they learn the language, they are both desirous of being mis- 
sionaries to the Indians." 

"Really, sir ? They must be most unusual men.*' 

"Indeed, they are. Why do you know, Heather, during the entire 
voyage they lived under the strictest sort of discipline. In fact, they 
were so methodical in all their actions, I readily understood why 
their schoolmates at Oxford called them Methodists. They mapped 

4* 



out every hour of the day, from five o'clock in the morning until 
ten at night, for praying, singing hymns, studying German, and 
reading and expounding the Scriptures and other religious works. 
One day Mr. John Wesley showed me the schedule they followed 
and it wearied me utterly just to read it." 

"Wearied you, Mr. Oglethorpe?" Heather questioned, incredulity 
and teasing in her tones. "Why during the year you spent in Sa- 
vannah, you never went to bed before midnight or rose later than 
the dawn." 

James Oglethorpe smiled in a pleased, though reserved fashion, 
his eyes shining and warm, and he straightened his shoulders per- 
ceptibly. "You're right about that, Heather, but I assure you the 
Wesleys outdid me." 

Bart sauntered up and stood beside Heather. Very conscious of 
his presence, but not acknowledging it by even the flicker of an 
eyelash, she said, "I hope, Mr. Oglethorpe, after such a heavy 
schedule the Wesleys enjoyed a good night's rest." 

"No, I can't say that they did." Wrinkles of amusement spread 
about his full lips. 

Without knowing what amused him, Heather began to smile, 
too. James Oglethorpe could be very attractive when he wanted to 
be, she admitted to herself. 

"Mr. Horton saw to it that they got very little rest." 

"Who, sir?" Bart inquired. 

"An English gentleman on board, Mr. William Horton. You see, 
Mr. Horton and his lady brought a maid on board with them, and 
the Wesleys disapproved of her. They claimed she was a drunkard, 
a thief and even something worse, which I won't mention in this 
company, and insisted that she be left behind in England. . . ," 

Heather turned her eyes toward Bart; she could no longer resist 
knowing whether he was lost in James Oglethorpe's story or was 
watching her. Her eyes met his full on, shaking her whole being; 
then in shyness sheared away. 

"I felt the Wesleys were right about her," James Oglethorpe was 
saying when Heather succeeded in steadying her ears to listen, 
"and so I put her ashore. However, the incident didn't end there. 
Unfortunately for the Wesleys, their cabin was directly below the 

42 



Hortons, so in the middle of every night Mr. Horton would get up 
and dance madly for hours right above their heads. As you can 
imagine, the Wesleys did not care for it." 

Heather's chuckles and Bart's whoops mingled with James Ogle- 
thorpe's thin laughter that had regularly spaced catches in it as if he 
allowed just so much of it to escape at a time. 

Again James Oglethorpe lifted the binoculars to his eyes and 
almost immediately announced, "I see the ships!" 

And soon, without glasses, Heather saw them, too; but instead 
of the two ships that she had expected, there were five. "I thought, 
Mr. Oglethorpe, you said there were two ships/' she said, question- 
ingly. 

"So I did. Those other three preceded me here. One is the Prince 
of Wales which came over last month with a hundred seventy 
Scotch Highlanders who went directly south to a site twenty miles 
from the mouth of the Altamaha River, and the other two are the 
Two Brothers and the Peter and James!' 

Heather dropped her mouth open in amazement, then exclaimed, 
"So, you already have a settlement to the south?" 

"Yes, a small one, if my instructions were carried out." James 
Oglethorpe spoke evenly, almost coldly. 

"And you consider it necessary to have still another one?" 

James Oglethorpe's face closed up and a dangerous light showed 
between his narrowed lids. Heather realized that for the second 
time in twenty-four hours her probing had irritated him. He no 
doubt considered his actions none of her business; she was much 
too forward; it was presumptuous of her, a slip of a girl, to be so 
prying. 

She shouldn't ask any further questions, she knew; but she hated 
the conversation to end in this unpleasant, strained fashion, espe- 
cially in front of Bart. Maybe if she asked one question lightly, 
almost indifferently, James Oglethorpe would think she was only 
showing a polite interest. 

"And what, sir, brings the Two Brothers and the Peter and James 
to our shores?" 

The Georgia leader's features didn't relax, nor did his eyes loose 
their fire, but he answered pleasantly, "They are on the Trustees' 

43 



account, too. They have stores for the new settlement and have been 
waiting here for me God knows how long. I'm really too frightened 
to inquire for I know the demurrage will be monstrous." 

Then lifting his hat he walked toward the stern of the cutter to 
be the first off when it tied up to the Symonds. 

The minute he reached the Symonds' deck a very excited, some- 
what youngish man approached him. "Mr. Oglethorpe! Mr. Ogle- 
thorpe!" he called imperiously. 

"Yes, Mr. John Wesley?" 

So that was one of the Wesley brothers, Heather decided, and 
stared at him with interest. He was very small, but quite distin- 
guished-looking. His head, his hands and his feet were in perfect 
proportion to his short, slim body, and his features were finely 
cut. The brow was high and wide; the eyes a deep, clear, intelligent 
blue; the nose straight and long; and the chin strong in spite of a 
dimple. He was wearing the conventional wig of the clergy, the 
white, corkscrew curls falling to his shoulders; a straight cassock 
and full, flowing gown. 

What had Mr. Oglethorpe said the brothers were called at Ox- 
ford? Heather wrinkled her forehead. Oxfordians? . . . No, that 
wasn't it. Wesleyans? . . . No. . . . Oh, yes, Methodists. 

"Sir, whilst you were away," he began in quick, tense tones, "Mr. 
Francis Moore, Mr. Horton and I were obliged to stave in several 
hogsheads of rum, which some Carolina traders smuggled on board 
with fresh meat and vegetables. We poured out every drop we could 
find on Peeper's Island, but even so, there was scarcely one sober 
man or woman on board last night." 

James Oglethorpe's jaws hardened but before he could speak, two 
more men hurried up. "Ah, good day, Mr. Charles Wesley and 
Mr. Moore," he said automatically. 

Again Heather's eyes widened, but not in curiosity over Charles; 
he appeared too nearly a replica of John; it was the Trustees' cor- 
respondent, Francis Moore, who caught her attention. He seemed 
highly nervous and frail. 

"The Carolina traders flew into a rage with us," Francis an- 
nounced as if he had overheard what John had been saying. 

"No matter how enraged they were," said James Oglethorpe 

44 



sternly, "y u did exactly right to spill their rum. We must either 
destroy the rum or allow it to destroy the people." 

He hurried off with the three men then, leaving Heather and 
Jason to pass the time until the return trip strolling about the decks 
and companionways, which proved disappointingly dull, for all the 
people were on nearby Peeper's Island, the women washing their 
linen and the men either digging wells for fresh water or hunting. 

On the way back to Savannah James Oglethorpe and Jason 
sipped wine and talked together in the cabin while Heather sat 
in the stern, flat on the deck, her back against the rear wall of the 
cabin so as to be out of the wind. With the coming of night the 
wind had freshened and her thin, worn cape gave little protection. 
Tightly she pulled it around her, tucking it beneath her outstretched 
legs, folded her arms across her breast and shoved her gloveless 
hands under her elbows. 

The boat skipped over the choppy waves like a child jumping 
rope and now and then the spray dashed across the cabin top and 
salted her cheeks and the toes of her black patent-leather pumps. 
Yet, chilly as she was, she felt exhilarated. 

Her bonneted head tilted back, she was gazing at the stars that 
seemed to have picked their way like newborn goslings through 
the black shell of the sky when Bart slid down beside her and 
asked quite softly, "May I share your thoughts, Miss Heather, or 
are they secret?" 

She smiled at him gaily. "They aren't at all secret, sir, I was only 
thinking how much closer and brighter the stars look here than in 
London. Have you ever noticed it?" 

"Aye, ma'am, many times. Indeed, one scarcely ever sees the stars 
in London in February." 

Heather sighed lightly. "Was London, sir, your home, too?" 

"Yes, ma'am, and though perhaps I shouldn't say it, I never did 
like it. As far back as I can remember, I wanted to come to Amer- 
ica." 

"Really, sir?" 

"Yes, and so when my father died, my mother consented for me 
to come. Happily, she had sufficient money to keep her, for my 
father had had a fairly successful apothecary shop, and she even had 

45 



enough left over to pay my passage and give me a start in the New 
World. On the way over, though, the captain with whom I'd grown 
friendly asked me to loan him my money until we got to Charles 
Town that's whither we were bound and I did; and, o course, 
as I would have known if I hadn't been such a Goddamned 
pardon me ma'am chucklehead, when we landed he not only 
didn't return the money, but claimed I hadn't even paid my pass- 
age." 

"How absolutely outrageous!" said Heather, indignantly. 

"I swore up and down I had paid him but, nevertheless, he seized 
all my effects, every blasted one of them: my clothes, my books, my 
mattress, my blankets; and he was even threatening to sell me into 
bondage when Mr. Oglethorpe arrived in Charles Town on his 
way back to England and saved me." 

Heather thought she must have misunderstood him. "Did you 
say Mr. Oglethorpe?" 

"Yes, Mr. Oglethorpe himself. It was pure fate." Bart rested his 
head back against the cabin wall and stared out at the river. It had 
gradually narrowed and the swells had subsided to small scoops of 
pulverized silver shoveled up seemingly haphazardly on the water's 
black surface. "You see, Mr. Oglethorpe used to patronize my fa- 
ther's apothecary shop when I was running errands and doing other 
jobs about the place and he knew me well; so when I heard he was 
in Charles Town I got word to him I was in trouble and he came 
immediately and did his dead-level best to make the captain change 
his story. He argued with him furiously, I can tell you. God 
Almighty, but he was in a proper rage! Nothing he said, though, 
budged the captain. He stuck to his lies like barnacles to a ship." 

"You don't mean it!" cried Heather. "I can't imagine Mr. Ogle- 
thorpe failing to have his way." 

"It's hard to imagine all right, but this was one time he didn't. 
He finally had to pay that blasted captain every pound he said I 
owed him." 

"Did he really, sir?" 

"He did. Why not even my own father could have been kinder 
to me. He's one fine gentleman, Mr. Oglethorpe is; indeed, there's 
none finer on this earth. I'll be beholden to him the rest of my life." 

Bart leaned forward and for a long, tense moment peered into 



Heather's face through the thin darkness as if inviting a corrobo- 
rating statement; but when he received none, he leaned back and 
went blithely on, "And not only did he pay my passage, Miss 
Heather, but he hired me as a member of the crew of his cutter that 
had brought him to Charles Town. That, too, was pure fate. One 
of the crew had been swept overboard in a storm off Buford and 
had disappeared before anybody could throw a rope to him." 

"How awful!" 

"Yes, I admit 'twas awful for him; but 'twas jolly good for me, 
for I needed the job." Bart shrugged his shoulders. 

"Then why haven't I seen you in Savannah more often?" The 
question was out before Heather realized how much it implied and 
quickly her open hands pressed against her chest. 

Bart whistled softly; then turned his head about on the cabin wall 
toward her and, finding her eyes, smiled at her winningly, linger- 
ingly. 

"Please, Captain Galloway, don't look at me like that," she whis- 
pered, a tremor in her voice and her eyes darting away. 

"How am I looking at you?" And the slow, tender smile changed 
to a teasing grin. 

"You know " 

Deliberately he reached out his hand and stroked her cheek up- 
ward with the back of his fingers. A wave of joy and pain swept 
over her, but she managed to inch her head away. 

"So, lass," Bart said gently, "you noticed me as I noticed you 
when we passed in Savannah?" 

"How could I help it, sir?" she retorted, tossing her gold curls. 
"It isn't every day a strange young man appears in Savannah." 

Bart's nose pointed to the star-bright heavens and his laughter 
spurted out. 

"All I wanted to know," Heather said, in mock anger, her voice 
raised so as to be heard above his laughter, "is where the cutter has 
been stationed." 

Bart's amusement subsided, but his eyes still twinkled devilishly 
as he asked, "Are you positive that's all? All right then. Tybee 
Island is your answer. We've been hauling materials from Charles 
Town for the new lighthouse there." 

"All the time Mr. Oglethorpe has been gone?" 

47 



"Almost all the time, though lately, following orders that Mr. 
Oglethorpe sent us from England, we've made a couple o trips to 
the mouth of the Altamaha River to familiarize ourselves with the 
way." 

"And when, may I ask, did you become 'Captain'?" 

Bart chuckled softly; then cut his eyes around at her. "Day before 
yesterday when Mr. Oglethorpe landed and realized what a skillful 
boatman I had become. He " 

Abruptly Bart looked about and jumped to his feet. "Hell's hulla- 
baloo," he said, "we're already to Savannah." 

"I was wondering, Captain," Mr. Oglethorpe spoke banteringly 
from the door of the cabin, "when you'd realize it." 

"I beg your pardon, sir," Bart said grinning, "but 'twas the short- 
est trip from Tybee Roads I ever made." 

He started running forward then and, by the time Heather got 
to her feet, he, with the help of two other crewmen, was already 
hauling in the sails and appeared completely oblivious of her. 



IV 



WHEN James Oglethorpe had chosen a new site for the 
settlement of the Salzburgers, he hurried back to the mouth of the 
Savannah to be greeted with the shocking news that Captain 
Cornish of the Symonds and Captain Thomas of the London Mer- 
chant had decided they could not take their ships to the Altamaha. 

"What do you mean?" James Oglethorpe demanded, his thin 
voice shrill with anger and dismay. 

"We can't do it, sir," said Captain Cornish gruffly, "for whilst 
you were at Savannah we learned that the pilot who surveyed the 
entry has left Georgia." Captain Cornish was a short, bandy-legged 
man with a square, red face, deeply pock-marked. 

"And as you know, Mr. Oglethorpe," put in Captain Thomas, 
"we are ignorant of these waters." 

"But, my dear Captains, 'twas clearly understood before we left 
England that you would sail into Jekyll Sound and unload the 
passengers and stores at the exact site of the new settlement. Why 
there was even an agreement with the Trustees that you would be 
paid demurrage for the loss of time suffered there." 

"Yes, that's correct, sir, but what are we to do for a pilot?" Cap- 
tain Thomas pushed his filthy wig about as if his scalp itched. 

"Do you mean to tell me that unless you have a pilot you will 
deposit these poor people and their pitiful cargoes here, a hundred 
miles from their destination? Do you expect 'em to walk overland 
through jungles and watery swamps or do you expect 'em to swim 
across inlets and seas?" James Oglethorpe spat out the words with 
heavy sarcasm and his fists clenched and unclenched excitedly. 

Then for a few minutes he said nothing further. Though his face 
was blotched with rage and his eyes snapped, he studied quietly the 
wide boards of the deck, still damp from their last washdown with 
vinegar. 

49 



When he finally spoke his face was clear, his voice persuasive. 
"Wouldn't it be possible, my friends, to sail just to the entrance of 
Jekyll Sound into which the Altamaha empties? You need not go 
in, understand? I, myself " 

Captain Thomas refused to hear him out. " Tis impossible, sir," 
he boomed, flinging out his hands, palms up, in a gesture of hope- 
lessness. " Tis impossible for merchant ships to make discoveries. 
And not only is it impossible; 'tis dangerous and unheard of." He 
whipped from his pocket a huge red handkerchief and snorted into 
it. 

"He speaks only the Lord's truth, sir," agreed Captain Cornish. 

Again James Oglethorpe's face stiffened in anger and the knuck- 
les of his clenched hands paled beneath the sunburn. "Captains, if 
I can find another ship to discover the channel first, will you then 
go down?" 

The two men put their heads together and muttered in low tones; 
then Captain Cornish began haltingly, "Sir, we are not indifferent 
to the hardships that will befall the people if we don't go . . ." 

"Then you will go!" James Oglethorpe pressed his advantage. 
"Goddamn, men, you must! You simply must!" 

"All right, sir, we will" 

A few evenings later, a small sloop, the Midnight, dropped anchor 
alongside the Symonds and immediately James Oglethorpe offered 
to buy its entire cargo if the master would agree to deliver it at the 
site of the new settlement. 

"Seeing, sir, how it's for the public good," the master proclaimed 
pompously, "I'm not the one to hold back." 

This declaration so shamed or challenged Captains Thomas and 
Cornish Bart couldn't decide which that they agreed to go with 
the Midnight and try the entrance with her. 

All night long by the flares of pine torches, James Oglethorpe 
loaded the sloop with arms, ammunition and tools and at eight 
o'clock, when she was ready to sail, requested William Horton and 
thirty single men to go aboard her. 

Then, not stopping for even one hour's rest, he made the final 
preparation for dispatching a redheaded Irishman, Captain Charles 
Dempsey, and Major Richard from the British Regulars at Port 
Royal with letters and a hogshead of claret for His Spanish Excel- 

50 



lency, Don Francisco de Moral Sanchez, governor of St. Augustine 
and captain general of the Province of Florida. 

James Oglethorpe gave Captain Dempsey last-minute instructions 
as the two circled the Symonds' deck. As they passed by Bart, where 
he was repairing an anchor rope, he caught a few tantalizing sen- 
tences. 

"Keep ever in mind, Captain, I'm in dire want of time to build 
a bulwark here," James Oglethorpe was cautioning on one lap. "We 
must hold the Spaniards below the St. Johns till we are ready for 
'em to venture northward." 

The next time as they swung by, the Georgia leader was saying, 
"You will ignore, of course, the notion that Spain has any claim 
whatsoever to Georgia; you must assume that His Excellency is 
pleased to have us settle in this wilderness. . . ." 

Once Captain Dempsey was doing the talking: "If I understand 
you correctly, sir, I must all but felicitate Don Francisco on having 
us for neighbors as opposed to the banditti who have formerly 
taken shelter here. From the banditti the Spanish have no redress; 
but from us . . ." 

The two ceased their circling and leaned against the bulwark, 
close by Bart. "Well, Captain, you can argue that we are at least 
Englishmen." Solemn-faced, James Oglethorpe took off his gray felt 
tricorn and let the stiff February wind blow across his high fore- 
head. "And we are under laws and government. Surely that should 
render us more desirable neighbors than wild Indians and even 
wilder pirates." 

" 'Tis a point well made, sir; but I'm just wondering if I will be 
able to convince the governor of it." 

"I rest secure in the thought that you will." James Oglethorpe 
put out his hand and shook the captain's. "Good luck and God 
bless you." 

As the Irishman went down the ladder James Oglethorpe leaned 
over the side and called to Major Richard, already waiting in the 
boat, "Do me the favor, Major, to keep fit and keep Captain Demp- 
sey fit also. Remember our future on these shores are to a large 
degree in your hands." 

Instantly he started on new plans. He sent orders to Savannah for 
100 Englishmen and Indian workmen to march overland to the 

5 1 



Altamaha and report to William Horton. Then, at seven o'clock in 
the evening, with more bachelors from the Symonds and London 
Merchant, he himself stepped into the cutter to visit the site of the 
new settlement. 

It was the devil of a time to begin a trip, especially in blustery 
weather, Bart growled to himself. Already the wind was whipping 
with considerable force across the wide green world of flat marshes 
and sprawling streams, raising welts of angry waves. 

Fortunately, this unbroken plain of marsh and water wouldn't 
last forever, for the farther they rowed from the mouth of the 
Savannah, the nearer they came to the rivers and creeks that cut 
through fairly solid ground on their inland route to the south. 

That is if Bart in this black night could find the inland route. It 
wasn't easy even in daylight. All this country looked alikeacres 
upon acres shod in long grasses and laced with silver streams. Bart's 
pale blue eyes peered steadily into the darkness, lighted ever so 
feebly by the boat's lanterns. 

Toward eleven o'clock he spied a few huts on high ground and, 
cupping his hands to his mouth, shouted, "Mr. Oglethorpe, we're 
approaching on our port side the settlement of Skidoway." 

"Is that right. Captain?" James Oglethorpe shouted back; then, 
after a long moment added, "Are you advising that we anchor 
there for the night?" 

"I do, indeed, sir!" Bart's deep voice rushed forth. "After Skido- 
way Narrows drops behind us, sir, the waterway grows wider and 
rougher and it has innumerable branches and inlets." 

"All right then, Captain, we'll rest here." 

The next morning the sky was a steely gray and the wind, still 
high, was rolling tufts of blow-down moss, like fat coons, along the 
shore. 

Pulling away, Bart studied the water, the land, the sky. The tide 
was at dead low; but very shortly it would turn and when it did it 
would be against him. With a five-mile-an-hour tide and a thirty- 
mile wind, which was also against him, the rowing would be slow 
and hard. He whistled softly and tensed his muscles. 

But in spite of the tides and weather two evenings later the cutter 
reached St. Simons Island at the mouth of the Altamaha, having 

52 



covered a distance of practically eighty-eight miles. Bart didn't see 
for the life of him how they had done it. It was true the contrary 
wind had dropped and, on the second day, he had been able to run 
up his sails, but nevertheless it was a real feat and he was pleased 
about it. 

The Midnight was waiting, anchored in mid-stream. 

"What manner of trip did you have, Captain?" James Oglethorpe 
called out. 

"Very good, sir. We met with seven fathoms all the way in, 
excepting one place where we hove too near the shore and so found 
shoaly water." 

"I'm delighted you made it. Where are Captains Thomas and 
Cornish?" 

"Directly they reached here, sir, they borrowed one of my yawls 
and set off for the Savannah." 

A heavy scowl drew James Oglethorpe's thick brows together and 
his eyes narrowed. "Had they completed their soundings, Captain?" 

"I couldn't say for sure, sir." 

"Well, let us trust they did." He shrugged his shoulders as if to 
throw aside any doubts; then turned his face toward the shallow 
bank of the river that would mark for the present his southern- 
most outpost against the Spaniards. 

"I will name this place Frederica after our Crown Prince Fred- 
erick," he announced solemnly. 

The site for the settlement was a fairly open space on the west 
side of St. Simons Island, away from the Atlantic, where the 
Altamaha took a wide, shallow bite into the land. It was an old 
Indian field of approximately thirty acres, covered with grass, black- 
berry briers, smilax, wild grapevines, palmetto and myrtle bushes. 

He strode swiftly from one side of it to the other. "The trees on 
the south side shall be left standing as a screen to the town," he 
explained, "in case the Spanish attempt to sail their galleons up the 
river; but those on the north may be cut for building and fire- 
wood." 

Hurriedly he put to work those laborers who had already arrived 
from Savannah. He ordered the grass and brush to be burned off 
and wide streets, running east and west, to be laid out. He directed 

53 



the building of a booth to hold the stores, digging first a basement 
three feet deep and then raising, with only a ridgepole and a few 
rafters, a skeleton structure shaped like an A tent. 

"Now thatch it with palmetto leaves/' he said. 

When it was finished he raised many more such structures, only 
smallertwenty feet long and fourteen feet wide on the back of 
the people's lots to house them until their permanent residences 
could be built. 

Indeed, he worked so furiously and accomplished so much that 
after just two days he was ready to start back to the mouth of the 
Savannah. He made one brief stop to visit Darien, the brand-new 
settlement, a little way up the Altamaha, of those Highlanders who 
had arrived the month before; then pushed on until he reached the 
Symonds. 

Within one hour after his arrival he called the passengers into the 
first hold and said grimly, "My friends, I have disappointing news 
for you. Captains Thomas and Cornish have informed me that for 
want of time and conveniency they could not find a passage over 
the bar at the mouth of the Altamaha sufficient to carry in their 
ships." 

Bart gasped with the people in amazement and disbelief. What 
did Thomas and Cornish mean -"want of time and conveniency"? 
Damme, why make the trip at all if they weren't going to take the 
time to discover the draft of the bar? 

"This unfortunate turn of affairs frees you of all obligation to 
colonize a new settlement," James Oglethorpe continued. "Without 
the Symonds and London Merchant, the trip will have to be made 
in open boats and that is too much to ask of any of you, but espe- 
cially of women and children." 

He moved restlessly across the small platform, thumping his fist 
into his palm, while the people waited silently for him to go on. 
" *Tis approximately a hundred miles through winding waterways 
which can prove very treacherous in stormy weather. It will not 
take less than six days with such a crowd and it might possibly take 
fourteen. You will be obliged to lie in the woods with no other 
shelter than you can get up upon arrival; consequently, you will 
be exposed to the cold, frosty nights which are not yet over and the 
heavy rains that are probable this season of the year." 

54 



Bart studied the upturned faces. They were deeply troubled. 

"Tis your decision, my friends." Bart thought he detected a 
tremor in James Oglethorpe's voice. "You are free to settle in Savan- 
nah or any of the many outsettlements close by. I will arrange to 
have lots and lands assigned to you there. Or, if 'tis your desire, 
you are most welcome to proceed to the Altamaha." 

A low rumble of murmurings rolled across the cabin. The people 
didn't know how to answer and Bart sympathized with them, 
though, of course, he would have gone wherever Mr. Oglethorpe 
wanted him to go. Still he could see the dilemma of these settlers 
who didn't feel about Oglethorpe as he did. Should they choose 
Savannah with its streets already laid out, its well dug, its oven 
built, its guns mounted, its shops open for business and some of its 
land already run out and cleared? Or should they choose a new 
site in the wilderness and make an absolutely fresh start? 

"Do you need time to reflect upon it?" asked James Oglethorpe 
when the rumbling of talk continued and yet nobody spoke up. 

"Yea, we do, indeed," two men answered simultaneously. 

"As you say then. I will withdraw from amongst you now and 
return at the end of an hour for your decision. I trust you will have 
it ready." 

James Oglethorpe, with Bart a few paces behind him, climbed to 
the bridge and stood staring out to the Atlantic, his eyes narrowed, 
his jaws set. His mind, Bart knew, was back in the hold with the 
debating settlers. What would he do if they accepted the release he 
had so generously offered them? The future of Georgia and, perhaps, 
of the whole Atlantic seaboard hung in the balance. If this great 
embarkation in which he had invested so much time and thought 
and money failed to found a new settlement to the south to 
strengthen the English defenses against the Spaniards, it could 
easily mean the end of Georgia as the thirteenth British Colony and 
of South Carolina and, maybe, even of the other eleven. 

And what a personal blow it would be to Mr. Oglethorpe! What 
a setback to his ambitions! 

When James Oglethorpe faced the settlers again, one knee was 
slightly trembling and he reached out a hand to a nearby post as 
if to steady himself. 

"Are you now in concert as to your desires?" he asked. 

55 



A middle-aged man by the name of Thomas Hird, who had 
been a dyer in London, stood up. "Mr. Oglethorpe," he began 
nervously, yet with an air of importance too, "when we left Eng- 
land we were resolved to make a new settlement and live together 
and we are still resolved in that course." 

Slowly a smile loosened the tenseness of James Oglethorpe's fea- 
tures and he said fervently, "God be praised!" 

"Yes, sir," Thomas Hird continued, more at ease now. "We de- 
sire leave to proceed together to the Altamaha. Some of our sons, 
brothers and servants have already gone and we are of the opinion 
that we would be very base to forsake them or force them to return 
here. So let us do our duty." 

The man was carried away with the sound of his own voice, Bart 
thought, grinning. 

"We desire to go through the inland passageways together and 
we will be content to lie out without cover not only for six days, 
but for sixteen days if it be necessary. It will be no more than we 
expected before we left England." 

The others nodded their approval and there was even a little 
discreet applause as Mr. Hird took his seat. 

His eyes shining warmly, James Oglethorpe said briefly, "I trust, 
my friends, that you will never repent your decision. Now there 
may be a little delay before we can set forth, but I promise you that 
all shall be accomplished with the utmost dispatch." 



V 



HEATHER felt strangely restless after her trip to the mouth 
of the Savannah River. Her insides seemed to flutter and she kept 
seeing Bart's light blue eyes under their pale lashes and his smooth 
lips stretching wide in a slow, caressing smile. The way he 
had stroked her cheek disturbed her, too. Just to think of it made 
her heart plunge and then abruptly jerk to a stop like an acrobat 
let out for a certain number of feet on a swinging rope. 

She realized she was being foolish. Bart had probably never given 
her another thought since that day. Jason had said he was fearless 
and tough as a savage. What could he possibly see in an uninterest- 
ing homebody such as she? He led a wild, free life in the woods 
and on the rivers and the sea and was constantly threatened with 
all kinds of dangers. Surely he could have no time to think of her. 
She would busy herself with household tasks and put him out of her 
mind. 

So she worked with redoubled vigor, scouring and polishing and 
trying to make the little house attractive while Truly went with 
Jason to the Lot. She was a good housekeeper. She couldn't bear 
dust anywhere not even on the bare floors or cobwebs on the 
unfinished walls, or an article or a garment out of place. And she 
put branches of wild plum and cherry and other flowering trees in 
an earthen jar on the kitchen table and threw them away the min- 
ute they lost their freshness. 

She was also particular about her own person. She actually liked 
scrubbing her small, rounded body and washing and brushing her 
gold-colored hair. And she saw to it that her bodice, whether of 
osnaburg or chambray or linen or muslin, always fitted snugly; 
that her skirts hung evenly and her white thread stockings were 
pulled tight. 

57 



This fastidiousness she inherited perhaps from Jason who, far 
more than the majority of his friends, kept himself and his gar- 
ments clean. In no other way was she finicky; she was really very 
earthy, hearty, impulsive and fun-loving. 

A day came, though, as one often had in the past when the house 
was spotless and she could go to the Lot and help with the clearing 
of the land. In spite of the drudgery of it, she liked this outdoor 
work best of all, but since Truly did, too, and was very outspoken 
about it, Heather didn't mention her preference. 

This day she grubbed with a dull, heavy hoe a huge patch of 
blackberry briers. Over and over she thrust the blade into the 
ground, struggling to chop the long, tough, deeply running roots; 
but over and over they eluded her. Her back began to ache along 
her waistline; the muscles in her shoulder blades and neck began to 
cramp painfully. Not even one stalk up, she rested, breathing 
deeply, both hands clutching the hoe handle for support; then, 
oblivious of her taste for daintiness, she drew her chambray-covered 
arm across her sweat-wet face. "Oh, dear Lord, I'll never get it up," 
she sighed. "Never." 

Though the day was pleasant, her flushed cheeks and body 
prickled as if stung with innumerable gnats and her armpits ran 
with perspiration. She could feel the cold prickle down her sides. 

Close by Jason, Truly and their indentured servant, Timothy 
McManus, were spading up some already cleared ground, preparing 
it for corn. If they only had a plow, Heather sighed inwardly, how 
much faster they could go; but as yet there was only one plow in 
the whole Colony and it belonged to Thomas Causton. 

The three of them worked very awkwardly, raising themselves 
frequently to rest their backs, but Timothy seemed more out of 
place than even Truly and Jason. He was such a little gnomelike 
creature he should have been hiding behind one of the pine stumps. 

Heather would never forget the first time she had seen Timothy. 
Jason had hurried home from the Store one evening and announced 
with poorly suppressed pride that he had contracted for a servant, 
"He's an Irish convict," he had stated right off. 

"An Irish convict?" Truly had repeated in a horrified voice. 

"Sh-sh-sh, he'll hear you," Jason said. 

58 



'Isn't he sensible to the fact he's an Irish convict?" Truly re- 
torted, not bothering to lower her voice. 

"Yea, wife, but you aren't desirous of hurting his feelings, be 
you?" 

Truly had tossed her head impatiently. "I'm sorry; but I must 
confess you've shocked me immeasurable, contracting for an Irish 
convict. From whence does he come?" 

"He is off a sloop that was forced into the Savannah River by 
the recent storms in the Atlantic. When it left England there were 
a hundred or more Irish transports on it, but when it reached here 
there were only forty. All the others had perished of hunger." Jason 
nervously scratched the palm of his left hand by rubbing it over the 
back of his bent right-hand fingers. "It was out of the question for 
the remaining ones to reach their original destination, so Mr. Ogle- 
thorpe considered it an act of charity to buy them. He paid five 
pounds a head for them and has allowed the Magistrates and a few 
others like me to buy one apiece at prime cost. We can pay for him, 
little by little, over a three-year period." 

"But do you deem it wise, Jason, for Mr. Oglethorpe to introduce 
these convicts amongst us?" Truly had asked. "We Savannahians 
might be poor but at least we're respectable." Her head went up. 
"There be only a few amongst us who have ever been inside the 
Fleet or the Bridewell, or any other jail for that matter, and those 
who have, mark you, only because of debt." 

"I know, wife; but remember there are only forty of these Irish 
transports and we do need them sorely to work the land." 

"Where's he going to sleep?" Truly asked, still testy. 

"He and the others will sleep in the Guardhouse until other 
arrangements can be made. Come on out and see him." 

Timothy couldn't have possibly looked less dangerous, to Heath- 
er's way of thinking. Like a full moon in the sky on a winter night, 
his round, wan face was daubed with shadows and in the deepest of 
them burned his eyes. 

In the weeks that followed, he had rapidly put on weight and his 
cheeks grew pink as a baby's, but he had little energy or enthusiasm 
for work. He preferred chatting, playing with children, fishing and 
drinking rum to any type of labor. Whenever he walked along the 

59 



streets, he had a half-dozen little boys and girls tagging behind him, 
pleading with him to make them whistles from the bamboo canes 
along the banks of the river or to take them fishing or help them 
build a fort to fight the Indians. 

And when Truly sent him to the well for water, he was gone for 
an hour at least. He not only played with the children on the way, 
but talked to all the people who came for water. 

"I could spend the day at the well just talking to people," he had 
bragged one morning as if it were a rare accomplishment. 

"Well, you almost did,*' Truly had snapped. 

"Almost did, indeed!" he had agreed pleasantly. 

Smiling at the recollection of this exchange, Heather picked up 
her hoe and went with renewed determination at the blackberry 
briers. They scratched her face, they caught in her hair, they thrust 
thorns into her thumbs; but she chopped furiously until the sun 
was past its zenith; then reared back to ease the muscles along her 
shoulder blades and neck before starting home to prepare the 
dinner. She had an Ogeechee shad to clean and cook. 

She called good-by and waved her hand at Truly, Jason and 
Timothy; then took one final look at the infinitesimal square of 
land she had cleared. It was nothing in this wilderness, Absolutely 
nothing. She felt terribly discouraged. Working as diligently as she 
knew how, she hadn't checked to any noticeable degree the strong, 
tossing, bright green tide that swept it. Could she ever? Could 
Jason, Truly, Timothy and she, all fighting together, ever check it ? 
She didn't see how it was possible. And yet, they must if they were 
ever to make a living on it. 

Heather delighted in the walk back to Savannah, especially now 
in the early spring. Jasmine vines swung yellow bells from the arch- 
ing limbs above her head and the incense was so sweet she was fairly 
drugged with it. And fresh, golden-green candles stood on the high 
tips of the pines, fashioning candelabra fit for an English cathedral, 
and close to the needle-matted ground between the aisles of the slim 
brown boles, Judas trees spread satiny skirts of lavender-pink 
flowers. 

She was weary and she promised herself, come night, that she 
would go to bed early and get a long, good rest; but when she 
60 



finished washing the supper dishes, she walked to the front door to 
catch a breath of air and there, on the step, sat Bart. 

"Oh!" she cried softly, pressing both hands to her heart to slow 
its beat. 

"Good evening, lass." Bart hopped to his feet and swept his coon- 
skin cap off his fair, silky head. "I was beginning to think you'd 
never finish your meal." A teasing light brightened his pool-water- 
colored eyes. 

"I'm so sorry, Captain. Have you tarried here long?" 

"I'm not positive of the exact time, but it appeared intolerably 
long." His lips slowly widened in that smile she so well remem- 
bered. "But now that you're here, will you be so kind as to stroll 
with me in the Public Garden?" 

"It would be my pleasure, sir. Permit me to get my cape?" 

Saying no word to Truly or Jason, who were weeding in the 
back-yard garden in the long, lingering twilight, she snatched up 
her cape and hurried back. 

"What, Captain, brings you to Savannah?" she asked, falling into 
step beside him. 

" 'Twas my good fortune to have Mr. Oglethorpe dispatch me 
here." He took her elbow and guided her across Drayton Street to 
the open space that stretched between it and Abercrombie Street on 
which the Public Garden faced. "Mr. Oglethorpe has dispatched 
men in every direction me here, another to Port Royal, another to 
the Highlanders at Darien, and still another to the workmen at 
Frederica with orders to get him all available piraguas for trans- 
porting the new settlers to Frederica." 

"Piraguas?" Heather questioned. She had an idea what piraguas 
were, but she believed men liked women to be ignorant so they 
could explain things to them. 

"They are those flat-bottomed boats that are generally rowed with 
two oars, though they have masts that can be struck in a good 
breeze." Bart slipped his hand beneath her upper arm, for the sand 
was soft and deep, making walking a bit difficult. "They offer very 
little protection from the weather as they are all open except for 
small forecastles and cabins. Their greatest asset is that each one 
carries from thirty to thirty-five tons of cargo." 

61 



"How interesting." She turned her head and met his eyes and 
again her heart turned over precariously. 

"I'm supposed to install more oars on those I hire here in Savan- 
nah and load them with several barrels o beer. Mr. Oglethorpe 
plans to have the first piragua that reaches its destination each eve- 
ning open one barrel to encourage all the crews to make the fastest 
possible time for, of course, only those who arrive on the heels of 
the lead boat will find the beer still flowing/' 

"Have you already accomplished all those tasks, sir? 1 * 

"Damme, no. I have arranged for the piraguas, but I have left 
until tomorrow morning the installation of the extra oars. I was 
determined to spend this evening with you, lass, and this gives me 
a good excuse to lay over." 

Heather's pulses throbbed, but she said nothing. She, who was 
usually so glib of tongue, didn't really know what to say. 

So, in silence they entered the Public Garden and strolled down 
a path bordered with small, flower-starred orange trees. Their scent 
was heavy. Deeply Heather breathed. She never suspected until this 
moment that the whole world could smell so drenchingly sweet. 

Walking in step, Heather's arm pressed close to Bart's arm. 
Heather's soft thigh brushing against Bart's hard thigh, they came 
to the bank of the river and sat side by side upon a fallen sycamore 
tree. 

Over their left shoulders the sky, above the thickly woven carpet 
of trees and vines, was painted a bright, luminous, pink-toned yel- 
low by the brush of the already gone-down sun and in front of 
them the wide, dark river reflected the sight. 

The town seemed to Heather unusually quiet most people must 
still be at supper but she could hear Recorder Christie shouting at 
his geese as he drove them homeward and the long, plaintive moo- 
ing of cows waiting to be milked, and the deep grunting o frogs in 
the low, marshy land below the Garden. 

"May I share your thoughts, lass?" Bart murmured just as he had 
that evening on the boat, his voice low and warm. 

Heather was sure he knew them; how could he possibly not 
know when they were written so plainly in her eyes, in her face, 
in her whole, quivering body; yet he continued for a long moment 
to look at her questioningly, his face sober. 
62 



Then satisfied with what he saw there, he swung himself about 
and quickly, roughly, took her in his arms. 

Frantically, she fought him off. She desperately wanted him to 
make love to her, but she was afraid that if she allowed it on such 
short acquaintance, he would think her a light woman, a creature 
of the streets. 

"How dare you touch me?" she cried in angry tones. "How dare 
you when we've been together only once before? Have you no 
shame?" 

"Why should I have shame?" Bart retorted, amazed. "Is it a 
crime to want to love a lass?" 

"Yea, when you scarcely be acquainted. For what do you take me, 
Captain Galloway?" She struggled to keep up her fury; but she 
longed so much for Bart to hold her in his arms and kiss her, and 
yet at the same time was so frightened of what he would think of 
her if she permitted it, her trumped-up fury dissolved into frus- 
trated weeping. 

"Hell's hullabaloo!" Bart stood up, his squarish hands clenching 
and unclenching rapidly. "I apologize, ma'am, I assure you I had 
no desire to offend you. I was of the opinion that you held me in 
the same affection as I hold you." 

Heather yearned to cry out, "But I do. I do." Still she was certain 
her role at this moment was to be a proper lady. He would appre- 
ciate her more in the long run i she continued now to remain 
strong. 

"I admit, sir, I have a great liking for you," she said in a small 
voice, her eyes cast down to the blunt toes of her shoes, "but not 
such a liking as to permit such liberties." She remained on the 
fallen log. It was not her plan to have this hour end; she wanted to 
continue sitting close by Bart, listening to him talk, especially about 
his affection for her, far into the evening, and murmuring in re- 
sponse little words of protest, but Bart was impatient, angry. 

He moved a short distance away, his feet shuffling through last 
autumn's crisp, unrotted leaves. Then he stooped over, picked up a 
broken-off branch of willow and, wheeling around to look at her, 
whipped it angrily at an innocent young cypress, 

Smiling at him as pleadingly as she knew how, she tried to hold 

63 



his eyes, but he turned them away and asked gruffly, "May I see 
you home, rna'am?" 

Unhappily she got up, brushed at the back of her skirt to clean it 
of dust and rot from the log, and joined him. A new rnoon, like an 
upside-down blond eyebrow, shone now in the blank, washed-out, 
bluish-gray face of the sky. Heather tilted her head toward it as she 
walked stiffly in silence by Bart's side. 

Reaching the Garden gate,, they met Dr. Patrick Tailfer, the 
surgeon, a Scot, and his creeping, cringing common-law wife, 
Rachael Ure, who seemed no more than a child, though she juggled 
a crying infant on her shoulder, strolling about the town as was the 
custom of many Savannahians in the early evening. Heather's 
cheeks burned; they felt exposed, naked as if bandages in which 
they'd long been swathed had suddenly been removed. Surely Dr. 
Tailfer and Rachael could tell she had been in Bart's arms, though 
ever so briefly. 

She spoke to both of them, her eyes resting with especial warmth 
on Rachael, for the young woman always seemed so terrified. Rachael 
acknowledged the greeting with a quick lowering of her head and 
a slight, abrupt bending of one knee as if it involuntarily gave way 
under the weight of this unexpected kindness, while Dr. Tailfer 
swept his three-cornered hat, with coils of silver braid and plumes, 
from his elaborate, freshly curled wig and rested it gently over the 
sling which cradled his right arm. 

He had almost lost the arm some weeks previously in a street 
brawl. He and some other Scotsmen, the captain of a ship that 
was tied up at the foot of the Bluff and other gay gentlemen had 
one midnight been dancing in the streets and putting on skits to 
show the settlers how pleasant it would be to have plays in Savan- 
nah such as they had been accustomed to in London when the 
tithingman, in charge of the guard that evening, had protested at 
the unseemly drunken noises at such a late hour and Dr. Tailfer 
had bashed in his face. In the free-for-all that followed, the tithing- 
man drew his dagger and slashed the surgeon's arm to the bone. 
But even without his arm in a sling, Dr. Tailfer was a conspicu- 
ous figure. He always dressed, in accordance with his calling, in 
dull black, except for the silver braid on his hat and the silver 
buckles on his pumps,, and he carried a walking stick, the handle of 



which was a hollow gold knob to hold a specific for warding off his 
patients' germs. 

His looks, though, were not distinguished. He was fairly small, 
but stocky, and his face was the shape of a slightly mashed rubber 
ball and covered completely with freckles, excepting, of course, the 
narrow slits that encased his hard brown eyes and the light red 
brows that slanted above them; the thin, purplish lips and the 
openings of his widespread nostrils. 

Back in Scotland he had seduced Rachael and then persuaded her 
to come with him to Georgia. On the way in Carolina, she had been 
brought to bed with this girl-baby who was wailing on her shoul- 
der. 

Passing on by them, Heather and Bart walked in silence across 
the open land between Abercrombie and Drayton; then Bart 
blurted out, "I have no liking for that Tailfer fellow.'* 

"No?" 

"No. He's going to be a troublemaker in the Province or I miss 
my guess." 

"Oh, I wouldn't say that just because he was in a brawl," she 
murmured tentatively. "Almost everybody in Savannah is involved 
in brawls at one time or the other." 

"Yea, of that I'm well acquainted and had no reference to." He 
met her upturned eyes briefly and casually. "I was referring to the 
libel he spread when he moved into Savannah from his five- 
hundred-acre estate, the libel that he couldn't make a li ving at plant- 
ing and so had to move into town to practice surgery and run an 
apothecary shop." 

Heather hesitated to argue with him when their relationship was 
so delicately balanced. Troubled, she ran her index finger across her 
upper lip as if her nose were itching; then asked quietly, "Why, sir, 
do you consider that a libel?" 

Bart's head jerked about and he eyed her in amazement. "Because 
anybody who really tries can make a living on five-hundred acres of 
this almost tropical land ... or even on fifty acres, for that mat- 
ter." 

For a moment Heather didn't answer, then she said, "I hope, sir, 
you're right, but have you yourself ever tried to do it with all the 
restrictions that Mr. Oglethorpe has laid down?" 

65 



"No, o course not; I happen to be a boatman; but I'm sure I 
could and a damned good living at that." 

"Maybe you could," Heather said simply, without sarcasm, "but I 
assure you it would be much easier for you if Mr. Oglethorpe got 
Parliament to alter those hampering laws that he was instrumental 
in having passed." 

"And if I were you, lass, I'd trust Mr. Oglethorpe to know what 
is best for the Colony." He said it lightly, almost apologetically, 
grinning at her, but she didn't like it and was afraid to trust her 
voice to answer him. 

So in silence they reached Duke Street and the Forsyths' door. 
Heather put out her hand and Bart shook it as if it belonged to 
some business acquaintance. Then they both muttered simultane- 
ously, "A good night's rest to you," and turned away from one 
another. 

Stretched on his back that night Bart didn't sleep, which was 
most unusual, for he usually slept anywhere and at any time he 
could snatch. He got up the next morning very early and roamed 
restlessly about the deck. He had the boat to himself, for his crew 
was still playing hazard or piquet at Mother Penrose's or carousing, 
drunk as lords, about the town. He was confused and unhappy. He 
had thought his passion for Heather would evaporate with the 
coming of daylight; but here he was, caught in a tempest of desire. 
He must see her again, and very soon. 

He bathed hurriedly as if the cutter were on fire, washed down 
some biscuit with a mug of beer and donned a speckled shirt and 
a pair of buckskin trousers. Then not knowing what to do next to 
quiet his inner tumult, he stood as if dazed in the middle of the tiny 
cabin until he heard a light tap at the door. Somehow, he knew 
immediately it was Heather. Falling over himself, he reached the 
door, flung it open and saw her, her olive-brown cheeks flaming, 
standing there. 

"Damme," Bart murmured, clenching his short-fingered square 
hands into fists and rapidly beating his chest, for his heart was 
racing like a rabbit. And in daylight, too! He wouldn't have be- 
lieved it. 

This time there was no pulsing twilight, no drowningly sweet 

66 



scent o orange blossoms. Instead, his bunk was unmade, and the 
top of his traveling chest was cluttered with a comb, a soiled hand- 
kerchief, a pair of scissors, a soap ball and a wig. And just look at 
him no waistcoat, his hair untied, his face unshaved and, no doubt, 
small tufts of blond hair showing in his nostrils. 

"I espied no one about," Heather said in a rush, "therefore I came 
directly in. Are you alone?" 

"Yea, when we're tied up in Savannah I never can get my rascally 
crew in before full day." 

"I shouldn't have come hither, but I was sensible of your leaving 
today and I desired to tell you before you went that I'm not really 
offended at heart." She could scarcely catch her breath and she kept 
running her fingers through her light, curly hair. "I realize you 
weren't responsible for what you did last night. You've been alone 
too much." She flashed him a quick, tremulous smile. "I understand 
that it was only a passing notion." 

"You do, lass?" He stood with his back to the door, the early 
morning light silhouetting his powerful figure. 

"Yes," she answered weakly. "Don't you?" 

"Nay, I'm not so sure." He turned his head deliberatively from 
side to side, for he was truly puzzled. 

"You must have a different feeling this day?" 

"Nay ... I can't venture that." 

"Oh?" 

"On the other hand, I can say positively it wasn't loneliness with 
me at all." He smiled at her with amazing tenderness for one tough 
as a savage and his voice was soft and deep. "I lay awake all night, 
thinking of you, aching for you. By God, I nearly died!" 

"Really?" 

"Yea, damme." 

She pretended, thinking it more feminine and appealing, not to 
understand his meaning. "Perhaps 'twas something you ate." 

He chuckled. "No, it wasn't the boiled rice and salt pork." 

"I didn't sleep very well myself," Heather confessed with a faint 
smile, and backed to the bunk and leaned, as if she felt weak, on 
the edge of it. 

"Come, lass, sit on this stool and make yourself comfortable." 



"Nay, I must tarry no longer." She took a step toward the door. 
"I was justjust er desirous of seeing you, sir." She turned back 
toward him and the next second she was in his arms. 

"We oughtn't," she remembered to murmur, trusting that would 
make him understand she was behaving this way in spite of her 
moral convictions. "We oughtn't." 

But his warm, soft lips took hers and his hard, callused hands, 
moving along her spine, pressed her tightly against him. 

"O-o-oh," she moaned. "O-o-o-oh." Then she tried to pull away; 
but he only grappled her more securely to him. 

How long he stood there, his body clinging to hers as deter- 
minedly as the roots of a tree to the earth, his mouth wearing hers 
open, Bart never knew, but finally as his hands lowered caressingly 
to her buttocks, she jerked away from him. 

"We oughtn't," she cried again, her gold eyes wide with real 
distress. "We oughtn't." She yearned with all her being for him 
to go on caressing her, taking her, but if she allowed it, he certainly 
wouldn't respect her and she would never have his real love. 

"Why not, lass?" 

"It's such a little time since we became acquainted." 

"What has time got to do with it?" 

He tried to take her in his arms again, but she shook her head 
and, stalling for time, murmured, "Pray, let us sit down and talk it 
over." 

"Certainly, if you think the truth can be sooner come at with 
talk." He led her to the bunk and sat her down as if she were in- 
capable of sitting down by herself; then pulled up the stool and sat 
facing her, his flintlike knees locked firmly about her knees and his 
hands gripping both of hers. 

Absurdly for such a moment, she noticed the hairs on the back of 
his wrists and fingers looked more red in the slanting rays of the 
rising sun than blond. 

"We mustn't let our passions run away with us like this," she 
began in a taut voice. "This . . . this affection we have " 

" 'Tis partly passion, to be sure." Bart tried to keep his voice rea- 
sonable. "You wouldn't have us check it, would you?" 

Bart loosened one of her hands and rubbed his blunt fingers 
68 



across his closed lids. "You confound me, lass. I want you. You 
must know that. But I would never take you against your will" 

"I return you thanks, sir," Heather said promptly, but there was 
a slight undertone of disappointment. 

However, Bart failed to catch it. Only a moment before he had 
reached the conclusion that by some trick or another he had lost 
his chance of bedding down this trip with this fairest of creatures, 
and he believed that nothing he could say would change matters 
now. She was an enticing piece, the Lord knew, but he had neither 
the patience nor the time to waste on arguments that were getting 
him nowhere. 

"Now, lass, if you will be so kind as to excuse me, I will proceed 
with the day's affairs." He glanced over her shoulder through the 
porthole at the brightening sky. "I still have many errands to attend 
to for Mr. Oglethorpe before I can cast off." 

Heather's heart sank. How could Bart consider his tasks for 
James Oglethorpe at a time like this? Had he been thinking about 
them while he made love to her? Did he care more for James Ogle- 
thorpe than for her? 

"Of course," she said in an abrupt, almost angry voice, and 
jumped off the bunk. 

For a long moment they faced each other, Bart's eyes reaching 
down into her and like a magnet pulling something inside her up 
into her throat; but he made no move to take her back in his arms. 
She would have gone there gladly, but instead he stepped back and, 
bowing and waving his hand for her to pass, said, "A fond good 
day, ma'am." 



VI 



WITHOUT serious complications James Oglethorpe arrived 
with the settlers at Frederica and divided them into gangs as he had 
done originally with the inhabitants at Savannah one gang to plan 
a communal garden, one to put up the palmetto huts, one to cut 
down trees and cut them the proper length for clapboards, one to 
make shingles, and one to work on the fort, the storehouse and the 
palisades. 

Then without a single night's sleep in a bed since leaving the 
mouth of the Savannah River, he set out on March i8th to hunt, 
so he announced, the buffalo; but Bart realized before they were 
out of sight of Frederica, from James Oglethorpe's conversation, that 
that was only an excuse to keep the people's mind at rest; the real 
purpose of the trip was to explore the necklace of islands that were 
strung between St. Simons Island and the mouth of the St. Johns 
River. 

James Oglethorpe talked mostly with Tomochichi, the chief of a 
small group of Indians, called Yamacraws, who lived at Pipe 
Makers' Bluff just above the town of Savannah. Though he was 
ninety years old, he was still a majestic figure. He carried his six 
feet erect as a swamp cypress and held his big, wide, roughly chis- 
eled head at an arrogant angle. Around his forehead was a band of 
beads into which was stuck an eagle's feather and from one shoul- 
der fell a bright folded blanket to within a few inches of his moc- 
casined feet. 

Tomochichi had been the first Indian chief to agree to James 
Oglethorpe's settling along the Georgia coast; however, a few 
months later the chiefs of the Lower Creeks, who claimed to be the 
real owners of the land between the Savannah and Altamaha rivers, 
met in solemn conclave and proclaimed in a formal document: "We 
70 



give up freely our right to all the land which we do not use our- 
selves." 

James Oglethorpe and Tomochichi talked through an interpreter, 
John Musgrove, the English husband of a half-breed named Mary. 
Her father had been a South Carolina trader among the Indians 
and her mother an Indian princess. She was tiny not an inch taller 
than five feet and pretty with complexion the color of English 
walnuts and shiny black hair, which she wore in two long plaits 
that swung rhythmically against her back as she walked. She, too, 
always had a band of beads across her forehead and a feather in it 
just where her forehead and hairline met. She did not wear Indian 
dress, but an osnaburg shift and a red stroud petticoat. 

Besides Tomochichi on the trip were several other members of the 
tribe, including Tomochichi's adopted son, Toonahowi, who were 
also old friends of James Oglethorpe's. He had taken them, along 
with Tomochichi and Tomochichi 's wife, Scenauki, and John Mus- 
grove on his voyage back to England, 

He had figured if they saw London they would be so impressed 
with the wealth and power of the British Empire they would never 
dare to go to war against her. And, on the other hand, the Britishers 
would be so intrigued by the sight of the Indians their interest in 
the Colony would be tremendously increased. 

So far as the Britishers were concerned James Oglethorpe was 
right. The Indians had been a sensation. Huge crowds gathered in 
the streets to see them ride by; people followed them wherever they 
went; and King George and Queen Caroline received them at Court. 
This Court visit had necessitated a flurry of shopping. With James 
Oglethorpe's help, Tomochichi and Scenauki were fitted out in 
long, flowing robes of scarlet velvet edged with fur and gold gal- 
loon braid. One London paper described Scenauki's costume as "a 
sort of scarlet Rosetti in the make of our English wrappers." The 
others were similarly dressed, except they wore blue. 

The party was lodged in the garret of the office of the Georgia 
Board of Trustees on fine new blankets and they attended a meet- 
ing of that august body. The Earl of Egmont, one of the most active 
Trustees, made them a brief address, which fortunately John Mus- 
grove, who had been dead drunk most of the visit, was sober 
enough to interpret. Then the Earl had presented Tomochichi with 

71 



a large gilt elaborately carved tobacco box and had wine and to- 
bacco served them. The Earl was especially pleased with Toona- 
howi; he proclaimed him a "handsome, brisk boy"; but he dis- 
missed Scenauki with one line, "an old ugly creature, who dresses 
their meat." 

One tragedy marred the visit. Scenauki's brother, who was also 
a member of the group, caught smallpox and, in spite o being 
attended by the Queen's own physician, Sir Hans Sloane, had died, 
throwing the Indians into wild paroxysms of grief. 

"I took them to my home in Surrey," James Oglethorpe wrote 
friends in Georgia, as if it were the most natural thing for an Eng- 
lish gentleman to do, "and kept them there in the quiet country 
until they recovered from the shock." 

They had returned to Savannah many months ahead of James 
Oglethorpe and so now on this journey down the inland waterway 
to the St. Johns, they were enjoying their first real reunion with 
him since their days together in London. 

Also on this expedition were several piraguas, carrying other 
Indians; Captain Hugh Mackay with thirty Highlanders from the 
Scottish settlement of Darien; ten members of the King's Inde- 
pendent Company from Port Royal, South Carolina; dapper, black- 
eyed, black-haired William Horton, and James Oglethorpe's South 
Carolina friend, Jonathan Bryan. 

James Oglethorpe did not stop on Jekyll, the first island on the 
chain, directly south o St. Simons, but continued to the next island 
which Toonahowi suggested naming Cumberland in honor of the 
Duke of Cumberland, for when Toonahowi had been in England, 
the Duke had given him a gold repeating watch. 

Striding swiftly over the land, James Oglethorpe selected for a 
fort site a promontory that commanded for many miles the inland 
passage which the Spanish ships would probably take on an inva- 
sion of Georgia. He drew the fort's outlines in the sand with the 
tip of his sword, left Captain Mackay with his Highlanders and a 
detachment of the Independent Company to build it and continued 
on toward Florida. 

It was a cold, raw day without sun and the whole wide world 
was gray- gray water, gray land sealed in by a gray, low-curving 
sky. Ducks flew close to the surface, their long outstretched beaks 
72 



and scarcely moving wings seeming at times actually to slice 
through the crests o the small swells, and now and then porpoises 
and even sharks played along the cutter's sides. 

The high land o Cumberland sank lower and lower until it 
disappeared in the sound that separated it from the next island on 
the necklace. "I will call this sound Cumberland, too, to simplify 
matters," James Oglethorpe announced, "and the island ahead I 
will name Amelia in honor o the Royal Princess/* 

After Amelia there was just one more island, St. George; then the 
St. Johns River. Bart heaved his barrel chest in a great sigh. He was 
dog-tired and he knew his men were, too. 

Locating a place to pitch camp took considerable time, for 
Tomochichi insisted on open ground, spiked with the stiff fans of 
palmettos. Stomping on a palmetto clump, he peered anxiously in 
James Oglethorpe's face. "Hear noise?" he asked. 

James Oglethorpe's smile flashed. "Yes, I hear. It sounds like a 
huge brush fire." 

"Good!" And Tomochichi nodded his big head, pleased. "If 
enemy comes in night, you hear him afar oft" 

But no enemy came. Only sand flies on the wind that was blow- 
ing from the low, swampy land. Bart felt them stinging up his 
nose, in his ears, along his back, in his privates. Quick, sharp, itchy 
stings like red-hot needles pricking the skin. He rolled. He slapped. 
He kicked. He scratched. He swore. Goddamn! Goddamn! 

He tried to forget about them by thinking of Heather. He wished 
to God he was back in Savannah and in bed with her, but even as 
the wish formed, he recognized it as false. Though he did desire 
her, his place now was by the side of James Oglethorpe. This was a 
most daring and dangerous expedition the Georgia leader was mak- 
ing into practically uncharted waters in the vicinity of unnumbered 
Spanish and Indian enemies. What kind of a man would he, Bart 
Galloway, be, rolling with a lassie, when his leader, who knew no 
fear and expended himself to the utmost, needed his services? But, 
in spite of this argument, he suddenly shifted his position to relax 
the swelling in his groin. 

The next morning Tomochichi, stealthily, bent double, led James 
Oglethorpe to a surprisingly high cliff, covered with huge rocks, 
runt cedars and myrtles. Reaching the edge, he eased himself flat 

73 



onto his stomach and, looking down at the unprepossessing, mean- 
dering sash of water below him, said very quietly but with real 
drama, "The St. Johns!" 

Deliberately James Oglethorpe polished his binoculars, raised 
them to his eyes, adjusted them carefully, and without speaking one 
word stared steadily at the peaceful stream and the green land on 
the far side. What thoughts must be seething in his mind, Bart 
mused. Here, right here, on these banks, the opposing civilizations 
of two empires met . . . and waited. How long would they wait? 
Or rather, how long would Spain wait? 

Before dawn the next day James Oglethorpe came by chance 
upon Major Richard's overnight camp and invited him to travel 
back to St. Simons in the cutter and give him the news of St. 
Augustine. Major Richard had brought two letters for the Georgia 
leader: one from the Spanish governor and one from Captain 
Dempsey. 

James Oglethorpe studied them for a long time in silence and 
then he addressed himself to Major Richard, Jonathan Bryan and 
William Horton. "It appears that His Excellency, Francisco de 
Moral Sanchez, is a very careful gentleman/' he said, smiling rue- 
fully. "He accuses me of settling on lands which belong to His 
Catholic Majesty, the King; nevertheless, he will wait, he says, to 
take action till he receives his master's commands." 

"At least, that gives you time," Jonathan Bryan suggested. 

"Yes, a few months, perhaps, while letters travel from St. Augus- 
tine to Madrid and back again. However, I need years to prepare for 
an invasion. Five or six years at least." 

Again he was silent, considering no doubt the terrific odds against 
him; then he began to discuss the second letter. "Captain Dempsey 
reports that the governor tells him . . . wait a minute, let me quote 
him exactly ... oh yes, here it is: 'The Governor says that nothing 
would give him greater satisfaction than to live in the strictest 
friendship with you, sir, whose character was known to him; but in 
all probability that harmony, which he so earnestly wishes for, could 
not long subsist since you settled, said he, on lands belonging to the 
King, His Master.' " 

James Oglethorpe shrugged his shoulders as if bored at the pro- 
test, then went on, " 'He' Captain Dempsey, of course, is still writ- 

74 



ing about the governor 'He talked much of mighty succors he 
could draw from the Havana, la Mobile and other parts. To which 
I answered him in my humble opinion it would be vastly better to 
regulate all things with mutual consent, which I could answer was 
your intention, hating above all things the effusion of Christian 
blood, but in case that should fail you had orders from the King, 
our Master, not only to draw to your assistance all the regular forces 
in the British America, but also the militia in case of need.' " 

James Oglethorpe glanced up from the letter. "I'd say, gentlemen, 
that Captain Dempsey acquitted himself exceedingly well" 

His three listeners agreed and then only the plop of the oars, the 
creak of the oarlocks, the swishing of the water against the hull 
and the heavy breathing of the rowers filled the boat, until very 
quietly James Oglethorpe asked Major Richard, "Sir, what about 
St. Augustine?" 

"The garrison of St. Augustine," the major answered, "consists 
of five companies of infantry, sixty men each, and a company of 
horse of about forty men, and they are expecting reinforcements 
daily from Havana; but frankly, sir, even without the reinforce- 
ments they can dislodge us. At least, they believe they can." 

"Are they fully armed?" 

"I don't believe so, sir, for the governor has sent to Charles Town 
to purchase arms." 

"To Charles Town?" gasped James Oglethorpe, his eyes flashing 
and his jaws hardening. Then turning upon Jonathan Bryan, he 
demanded, "Sir, did you hear that?" 

"I did, and I consider it monstrous." 

" 'Tis more than monstrous. 'Tis homicidal. Carolina must stand 
with Georgia or they both will fall. Spain isn't only Georgia's 
enemy; she is the enemy of all the British Colonies on the Atlantic 
main. Georgia, of course, is the most vulnerable because of her 
position, but when she is overrun, 'twill be only a matter of time 
before they are all overrun. Then we will have a Spanish-Catholic 
civilization across this land instead of a British-Protestant civiliza- 
tion. The next months or, God willing, the next few years will tell 
the story." 



75 



vn 



ONE Sunday afternoon in early April, Heather sat almost 
motionless on the Bluff, staring along the watery expanse of the 
Savannah. A few hundred feet below her. His Majesty's man-of- 
war, the Haw\, rode at anchor. Captain Gascoigne had brought it, 
terrifically buffeted by storms on its Atlantic crossing, up to Savan- 
nah a week before for repairs. 

Yet, staring straight at the river, Heather did not actually see it. 
Her mind was miles away on the southern border, picturing Bart 
there with James Oglethorpe and the new settlers. His long absence 
had not helped her to forget him; indeed, she thought about him 
practically all the time. But did he remember her, she wondered, 
or had he found another "lass" to kiss and fondle. She still couldn't 
believe that anyone so personable, so exciting, so courageous could 
be attracted to her. 

She knew she gave the appearance of being confident, gay, per- 
haps even bold; but she wasn't really sure of herself. She wasn't 
particularly clever; she wasn't quick at repartee, which was so much 
admired these days Truly was much better; and she didn't know 
any subject well. She actually feared she was shallow-minded; she 
read the London papers when Jason brought them from the taverns 
and she wasn't too exhausted; but she forgot most of what she read. 

So why should a man of the world like Bart be seriously inter- 
ested in her? But even if he had felt a real fondness for her, it had 
no doubt cooled when she repulsed him. She had begun to believe 
she had made an awful mistake; she was frightened that he wasn't 
the sort of chap who continued to yearn for a maid after he was 
repulsed. Maybe she shouldn't have done it. The good Lord knew 
she hadn't wanted to; but there had been that fear of losing his 
respect and love. Yet, there was the chance she wouldn't have lost 
them. Many girls her age went to bed with men out of wedlock 



(everyone blamed it on the laxness of the times) and men some- 
times married them. If Bart gave her another opportunity she 
should, perhaps, give in to him. But then, the next time she might 
not feel all burning and yearning and seething inside. 

Impatiently, she shook herself. Oh, how pointless it was to tor- 
ment her mind and body with thoughts of Bart. She hopped up, 
flung her arms out and stretched to its limit her small, lithe body. 
She simply must stop thinking about him; it only made her more 
miserable. She dusted off her seat vigorously; pulled a half-dozen 
cockleburs from the hem of her skirt, and turned about to head 
for home. 

But then she turned back for one more long, last prayerful look 
down the river and saw, God be praised, what she had been watch- 
ing for these many weeks James Oglethorpe's cutter. It was slip- 
ping like the stub of a crayon in the grip of a shaky hand across 
the brownish-green page of the water, leaving behind white copy- 
book Vs. Her blood pounding, she began to race across the Strand 
toward Bull Street. After that last meeting with Bart, she couldn't 
face him now in broad daylight in front of the drunks and loungers 
along the Bluff. 

Bart, at the rudder of the cutter, failed to see her flying figure, for 
he was concentrating on the speediest way to furl the sails, to make 
the bow fast to the beach, now that the tide was out, and to deliver 
James Oglethorpe's orders to Captain Gascoigne to bring the Haw\ 
immediately down to St. Simons, for that was the mission that 
brought him to Savannah. 

He lost no time in accomplishing these tasks and shortly pre- 
sented himself at the Forsyths* door, coonskin cap in hand. 

"I've come to invite Miss Heather to supper on the cutter," he 
announced straight off to Jason, who answered his knock. 

"How kind of " Jason began, but was interrupted by Truly who 
hurried from the kitchen, wiping her hands on her apron, to de- 
mand, "Who's there, Jason, and what does he want?" 

"This is Captain Galloway, wife, and he desires Heather for 
supper on Mr. Oglethorpe's cutter." 

Truly was so excited she didn't acknowledge the introduction or 
hear what Jason said correctly. 

"Is it only Heather that Mr. Oglethorpe desires?" she asked. 

77 



" Tis not Mr. Oglethorpe, ma'am, but myself who's requesting 
Miss Heather's company." Bart's deep voice was slightly imperious, 
though he didn't mean it to sound so. 

"Oh." Truly made no effort to hide her disappointment. "I 
thought, of course, 'twas Mr. Oglethorpe." She tossed back her 
head abruptly, setting the tight curls about her florid cheeks to 
swaying. 

Truly had high ambitions for Heather. She had been saying from 
the day the Ann sailed from England that Heather must marry a 
gentleman in this new world. She argued that everything was to 
be different in Georgia and there was no reason why Heather 
shouldn't improve her station. 

However, before she could say anything further, Heather stepped 
from her room into the hall and said quickly, "Hello, Captain 
Galloway. I overheard your gracious invitation, sir, and I'd be happy 
to accept." 

"Now, Heather, don't take so much upon yourself," spoke up 
Truly with some asperity. "I don't deem it proper for a girl . . ." 

"Oh, Truly, let her go!" There was a positiveness in Jason's tones 
that delighted Bart. "Captain Galloway, I'm sure, will take good 
care of her." 

"Thank you, Papa," murmured Heather and, snatching up her 
cape and kerchief from a peg in the hall, ran down the step to the 
sidewalk. She didn't want to give Jason or Truly any more time to 
ask questions. She was certain that they did not realize all the crew 
would be ashore. 

During the supper of salt herring, tongue and biscuit, Bart and 
Heather chatted casually as if that emotion-packed morning had 
never been; but as soon as the meal was over, they lapsed into a 
tense, waiting-for-something-to-happen silence and stared fixedly 
at the moon-draped river. Silvery white as a bride's gown, it 
swished between the black pews of its banks. 

"Lass, would you allow me to show you some changes I've 
made in my quarters?" Bart suggested finally in a nonchalant 
fashion, but once inside he dropped this nonchalance and took her 
in his arms and kissed her with a passion kin to anger. "God, I've 
wanted you so terribly," he muttered. "I couldn't continue sitting 
out there on deck as if I didn't . . ." 

7 8 



He leaned her across his hard right arm and worked his mouth 
against hers. "I kept thinking about you, lass, more instead of less/' 
he whispered. 

"I did about you, too, my dearest." 

Suddenly he was conscious of her cape and the kerchief about 
her head. "Couldn't you at least take off your cape and kerchief?" 
he demanded turning her loose. 

With fingers shaking, she fumbled at the buttons of the wrap 
and let it drop to the floor, and then, without waiting to untie the 
kerchief, she went back into his arms. His lips swung against hers 
from side to side and his hands cupped her hips and held her 
tightly against him. "Oh, lass, I'm so desirous of you." 

One hand moved caressingly up her body to her hair. "Damme, 
you've still got on that kerchief." 

"I couldn't loosen the knot." 

"Here," and he jerked it still tied off her head and threw it on 
his bunk. 

Then with his mouth holding hers, he began to undo the buttons 
of her bodice. "My sweet, I've pulled one of the damned things off." 

"It is of no matter, dearest." 

"I'm that nervous and excited, lass, I can't undo the others." 

"I'll undo them, but, Bart dearest, will you kindly snuff out the 
lanthorn?" She asked it meekly, still hoping he would understand 
she was giving into him against her principles. 

"Whatever for, lass? I desire to look at you, you know." 

" 'Twill be a humiliation for me." 

"I can't understand why," he growled. "I have a fair notion, even 
with all those petticoats and staves on, that you have a beautiful 
body. . . . Don't be shamed." 

"But, dearest . . ." 

Without another word he moved away and blew out the lantern. 
However, the light on the masthead and the high-riding white 
moon thinned the darkness to a warm, blurry gray. 

Hastily they both began to undress. "Where may I hang my 
clothes?" Heather whispered. 

Bart's deep chuckles filled the cabin and he reached out impul- 
sively and caught her to him. He realized in a flash that one of the 
qualities that attracted him to her was her dainty femininity in spite 

79 



of the crudity of life all around her. "You funny thing!" he gloated. 
"You funny, sweet thing!" 

When she was free again and undressed, she walked on tiptoe to 
the bunk and lay, curled up, on the edge of it, waiting for him. 

The river, now at its full, pushed and pushed against the boat's 
hull, tossing it this way and that, this way and that, and the night 
pulsed with sighing and sobbing sounds, but there was no sadness 
in them. 

Later, as Heather lay quietly in Bart's arms, her head on his 
broad shoulder, she asked, "My dearest, do you understand how I 
can love you in this fashion when you are practically a stranger 
to me?" 

Exuberantly, his arm tightened around her body and his deep 
laughter rolled. "A stranger am I?" he repeated, his voice teasing. 
"Well, at least I'm an intimate stranger." 

Then as casually as if it had been in his mind all the time and 
he wasn't sure it hadn't been he said, "Lass, I'll attend your 
father tomorrow and beg the favor of your hand." 

Heather's heart leapt with joy at her success. Ban did seriously 
care for her; after all she wasn't just a light, passing fancy. 

"Will you really, my dearest?" 

"Of course. Are you of the opinion he will grant it?" 

Bart asked the question casually, as if confident of success; but 
Heather felt uneasy as she suddenly remembered Truly's ambition 
for her to marry a gentleman. "Papa will give you my hand freely," 
she answered a bit hesitantly, "but Mama might object. She . . . 
she . . ." Heather was at a loss for words. She didn't want to say 
anything that might hurt Bart's feelings. Laughing lightly to show 
how absurd the notion was, she finished, "Mama doesn't regard any 
man as good enough for her daughter." 

"Naturally, and no man is; but don't you fret, lass, I'll win her 
over. You just wait and see." 

This cockiness of Bart's delighted Heather and she quickly 
turned her face to his and kissed him hard on the lips. 

"Um-m-m," he grunted when she finished; then asked, "When 
shall we be wed?" 

"Any time you say," she answered, her voice singing with happi- 
ness. 

80 



"Tomorrow?" He stroked her cheek with the back of his fingers. 

She tucked down her chin and chuckled long and abandonedly 
before saying, "Of course, not tomorrow, silly. We have to have 
the banns read, you remember, and that takes at least three weeks, 
even if John Wesley were here to read them, which he isn't. He has 
gone to Frederica to visit his brother Charles." 

"Damme, that's right. I did see him in Frederica." 

"We can have the first reading, though, the very first Sunday 
after he gets back if you are sure, dearest, you want them that 
soon." She ran her small hands lovingly over his face. 

"Certainly I want them that soon; but I'm very much afraid I 
won't be here then. Does that make any difference?" 

"Why won't you be here?" Heather sat up, the blanket clutched 
to her chin, twisted her head about and looked down at Bart, her 
gold eyes troubled. 

"Because more than likely I'll be at Frederica or somewhere else 
on the south Georgia coast with Mr. Oglethorpe." 

"Won't he let you off, my dearest, to hear your own banns read?" 

"I wouldn't think so. He's making a lot of exploratory trips up 
and down the rivers and inlets near Frederica and he needs his 
cutter and his coxswain." Bart's voice was quiet, reasonable, and 
slowly he traced the line of Heather's spine with his forefinger, 
making her blood tingle. 

"But couldn't somebody else act as his coxswain while you tend 
to the business of getting married?" 

Chuckling softly, Bart slipped his arm around her and pulled her 
back down beside him. "Maybe he could, lass, but he wouldn't 
like it." 

Heather was conscious of jealousy stirring in her body. It did 
seem to her that Bart would think first what she would like rather 
than what James Oglethorpe would like at this very important time 
in her life. "But, Bart, couldn't you just ask Mr. Oglethorpe if he 
could spare you long enough to take yourself a wife?" She smiled at 
him pleadingly. 

Bart smiled back at her in silence for a moment or two; then 
shook his head and said with finality, "No, lass, I couldn't. Mr. 
Oglethorpe has many matters of serious importance afoot to the 
south and I must do everything in my power to help him." 

81 



Though the feeling of jealousy spread, Heather managed to say 
in even tones, "Well then, dearest, there is nothing for us to do but 
wait patiently until both you and John Wesley happen to be in 
Savannah at the same time, and heaven knows, under the circum- 
stances, when that will be." 

"I'm terribly sorry, lass." Bart kissed the top of her hair and 
leaned his cheek against it. "But that is the way it will have to be." 

On his return to Frederica, Bart threw himself into James Ogle- 
thorpe's plans with a concentration that would have shocked 
Heather. He was in love with her and pleased as he could possibly 
be that it was settled they were to be married; but this colonization 
of a new land in the face of Spanish threats under James Ogle- 
thorpe's leadership was a challenge that wiped personal matters 
almost completely from his mind. 

Just a few hours after he got back, Lieutenant Delegal, com- 
mander of the Independent Company of His Majesty's forces at 
Port Royal, rounded the bend in the Altamaha above Frederica, 
with a detachment of thirty regular army men in a small fleet of 
boats and James Oglethorpe ordered him to proceed directly to the 
southeast tip of St. Simons where a fist of land poked into Jekyll 
Sound. 

He had had his eyes on this spot ever since he selected the site for 
Frederica, for the guns of a fort there could challenge any ship 
entering Jekyll Sound to sail up the Altamaha River as the shoals 
that extended out from Jekyll reached close to the St. Simons' 
shore. 

He followed Lieutenant Delegal in the cutter, drew upon the 
beach the plans for the fort and went back to Frederica on the turn 
of the tide. 

The next morning he was up at dawn, with Bart at his heels, 
supervising the loading of two boats with three months' provisions, 
tools, arms and ammunition for an expedition to the mouth of the 
St. Johns. He put Captain Hermsdorf, a big blustering German, 
who sang every time he got a mug of beer in his fist but had, to 
Bart's way of thinking, shifty eyes, in command, with instructions 
to fortify St. George's Point on the southernmost island on the 
Georgia side of the St. Johns. 

82 



Major Richard and William Horton were to go with Captain 
Hermsdorf as far as the St. Johns and then proceed to St. Augus- 
tine with letters for the Florida governor and Captain Dempsey. 

With the boats on the way southward, Bart fell to transferring 
the cargo of the Midnight into the almost completed storehouse, but 
now and then he had a few minutes' respite when he sought James 
Oglethorpe's advice on some unloading problem and the Georgia 
leader detained him to talk over other matters. 

"Bart, I must read you this letter from Captain Dempsey/' he 
said one morning, holding up a half-dozen sheets of foolscap. "It's 
delicious to the nth degree." Amusement buckled his high voice. 
"He writes, 'This discourse of the Governor' he's referring to the 
Spanish governor, you understand 'and these people rolls entirely 
on your settling on lands and islands belonging to the King, their 
master, but I have insinuated to some of the tattlers that I heard 
that before ever a Spaniard set foot on the said lands that Sir 
Walter Raleigh "had taken possession of them in the name of His 
Royal Mistress, Queen Elizabeth, so let them prove to the con- 
trary.' " 

James Oglethorpe glanced up to reassure himself he still had 
Bart's attention, then read on: "'If it is possible to put an old de- 
cayed stone with an inscription in Gothic letters with the year of 
Her Majesty's reign, agreeing with the year Sir Walter Raleigh 
sailed that way, or to cut the bark of some very old tree, it would 
lay a foundation for a long lawsuit, so give you time to settle in 
such a manner that all Spanish forces in America could not disturb 
you.' " 

James Oglethorpe leaned back in his chair, emitting high, 
broken-up chuckles. "Here, you finish it," he said between spurts 
and tossed the letter across the desk to Bart. 

"If you think fit, sir," Bart read, "that I should remain here or 
go to Mexico, La Vera Cruz or Havana, do me the honor to let me 
know as soon as possible, for this is the most dismal, dreary place, 
but if a hundred times worse and it could be in any way serviceable 
or pleasing to you, I would remain here ten years, for when I came 
to wait on you, it was with a firm resolution to carry your com- 
mands to the very gates of Hell." 

Bart felt a warm sympathy with Charles Dempsey. He, too, 

83 



would be happy to carry James Oglethorpe's commands to the very 
gates of Hell. 

"I'll have to dispatch Captain Dempsey a copy of 'A Memorial 
of the King's Tide to Georgia/" James Oglethorpe said jauntily. 
"It answers without a stone or tree all the Spanish claims." 



A FEW weeks later a large Spanish launch tried to come in 
at Jekyll Sound, but fortunately the guns from Fort St. Simons 
were able to beat it off. 

Then one night soon afterward, the scout boat Carolina tied up 
alongside the cutter and Captain Fergerson informed James Ogle- 
thorpe that the Spanish had arrested Major Richard and William 
Horton in St. Augustine. 

The Georgia leader's bushy brows shot up. "Are you acquainted 
with the occasion for the arrest, Captain?" 

"The charge is spying, sir." 

"Good God!" James Oglethorpe jumped to his feet. "That's quite 
revealing. Quite. It signifies the Spaniards are ready for war or 
otherwise they wouldn't dare arrest Englishmen on such a trumped- 
up charge." 

The next day James Oglethorpe left for Fort St. George. Excite- 
ment and action packed every hour there. Observing on the 
evening of his arrival fires on the Florida side of the St. Johns, 
James Oglethorpe suspected that Spanish troops in considerable 
numbers had been brought up from St. Augustine for an early 
assault on this outpost. Since the fortifications were far from com- 
plete, he resorted to trickery to hoodwink the enemy. 

Addressing Lieutenant Delegal, whom he had brought with him 
from Fort St. Simons, he ordered, "Take two swivel guns, sir, and 
two carriage guns deep into the woods and, when you have them 
mounted, you are to fire the swivel guns seven times and then, a 
few minutes later, the carriage guns five times." 

"Aye, sir," answered the lieutenant, but there was such a frown 
of puzzlement on his face, James Oglethorpe elaborated. "I'm hop- 
ing the Spaniards will believe that the swivel guns, by the very 

85 



smallness of their reports, are aboard a warship, saluting some 
distance from shore, and that the louder carriage guns are replying 
to the salute from a land battery." 

"I see, sir." 

Then, turning to a young cadet, he said, "And you, sir, will 
kindly attend to having fires made, dozens and dozens of them. I 
want some two miles distant from here, some three miles and some 
four. The Spaniards, seeing all the land about spouting flames, will, 
I trust, think our forces are legion." 

For the first time Bart realized that the Georgia leader was an 
extremely clever strategist and, musing over the fact with amaze- 
ment and awe, recalled that he had once heard that James Ogle- 
thorpe in 1717, when he was still in his teens, had joined the expedi- 
tion of Prince Eugene against the Turks and, as his aide-de-camp, 
had fought in the bloody, crucial battle of Belgrade and been com- 
mended for brilliant and meritorious service. But as this military 
experience had been very brief, James Oglethorpe having returned 
shortly after this action to his studies at Oxford, Bart was still 
amazed and awed. 

From Wednesday until Sunday James Oglethorpe worked and 
waited and then, no attack having developed, he trusted he had out- 
witted the Spanish for the time being and rushed back to Frederica 
to see if the settlers were still safe and to gather, if possible, more 
recruits for the St. Johns frontier. 

He was exhausted when he reached Frederica, but there was not 
a moment for rest. The king of the Uchees, with twenty men, was 
there to complain with bitter indignation that the Salzburgers had 
allowed their cattle to run over the Indians' land. Quietly and 
soberly James Oglethorpe listened. To look at him, nobody would 
have suspected an enemy was at his back and yet, a few minutes 
later, he showed he had never lost sight of that fact for an instant. 
Assuring the king that the cattle would be withdrawn from his 
land immediately, he extracted a promise of 100 warriors to assist 
him against the Spaniards. 

Mary Musgrove, Tomochichi and thirty other Creeks and about 
fifty settlers from other parts of the Colony were also present. 
They had come to offer their help and so, in three days, James Ogle- 

86 



thorpe set out once more for the Florida line with a flotilla of small 
craft. 

He had got within fifteen miles of St. George's Point when he 
spied a boat approaching and, training his glasses upon it, said, his 
voice low but excited, "Bart, Mr. William Horton is in that boat 
and one of the men rowing is his manservant." He waved both 
arms back and forth above his head and shouted to William to pull 
alongside and come aboard. 

William spilled his news quickly. The Spaniards had not only 
set him and Major Richard free, but there was a launch some dis- 
tance behind him, bringing Charles Dempsey and a delegation of 
Spanish gentlemen, including Don Pedro Lamberto, Captain of 
Horse, and Don Manuel Gonsalez, adjutant of the St. Augustine 
garrison, to treat with the Georgia leader. 

"So, they are coming to treat with me, are they?" James Ogle- 
thorpe exclaimed, beaming. "Pray, sir, just how did this come 
about?" 

" Tis a most interesting story if I may venture to say so, sir," 
William began. His tone and manner revealed his pleasure in the 
role he was playing. "From what Major Richard, Captain Dempsey 
and I were able to ascertain, the Spanish governor sent out Don 
Ignatio Rosso, lieutenant colonel of the garrison, with thirty of his 
picked men, some Yamassee Indians and a very strong boat crew 
in all about sixty men in a big launch to reconnoiter the Georgia 
coast and, in case he found us as weak as their advices from Caro- 
lina said we were, to dislodge us." 

"Yes, yes, go right ahead." 

"Sir, that was the plan." William hesitated dramatically and his 
black eyes glowed. "Happily for us, however, they did not follow 
the inland waterway, but came up by sea and when they tried to put 
into Jekyll Sound they were discovered from the Point by the 

fort." 

James Oglethorpe arched his brows, stretched back his lids and 
said excitedly, "By jove, so that was the big launch at which 
Lieutenant Delegal fired!" 

"Yes, sir, and he fired so briskly they went back down the coast 
with the utmost precipitation." 

8 7 



"Excellent! Excellent!" James Oglethorpe exclaimed. 

"When they reached Cumberland Sound/' William went on im- 
portantly, "they strove again to get into the inland passage, but 
were challenged by the Highlanders from Fort St. Andrews. This 
proved the last straw, sir. They rowed in frantic haste in fact, the 
boat crew actually took all the skin off their hands until they 
reached the Spanish outpost on the St. Johns River, a distance, as 
you so well know, sir, of nearly sixty miles, that very same night." 

"Did they really? They must indeed have been alarmed." 

"Oh, that they were, sir!" 

"Then what happened?" 

"Don Ignatio landed there and had a conference with Don Pedro 
de Lamberto, who had come from St. Augustine by land with a 
hundred foot and fifty horse." 

"By jove, I was correct then when I suspected that lookout was 
reinforced last week!" 

"Yes, sir, 'twas that and Don Ignatio and Don Pedro laid plans 
to attack Fort St. George, but they heard so many guns and saw so 
many fires, they returned instead in considerable confusion to St. 
Augustine." 

Bright, pleased lights flared in James Oglethorpe's eyes. 

"When the people of St. Augustine learned of their return and 
the reason for it," William continued, "they grew so alarmed that 
they might perish at the hands of the English and Indians, the 
Governor called a council of war at which it was agreed that Major 
Richard and I should be set free and sent back to Frederica in the 
most honorable fashion hence the delegation." 

"That's right the delegation," James Oglethorpe said as if he 
had lost sight of it until that moment. "How far would you say 
'tis behind you, Mr. Horton?" 

"I'm not sure, sir, for I stopped at Fort St. George to leave off 
Major Richard to inspect the fortifications; but I'd venture an hour 
or two, perhaps three." 

James Oglethorpe caressed the side of his nose, his lids almost 
shut. "They are planning, you say, to meet with me at Frederica?" 
he inquired after some moments. 

"Yes, sir." 

There were more moments of quiet, except for the bumping 

88 



sounds of the two boats grappled together, the shifting movements 
of the crews, the squeaking of the oars in their locks, and the 
cries of the wheeling gulls overhead. 

Finally James Oglethorpe said with slow emphasis, "The Span- 
iards must be kept on the Hatul^ until my return. Under no circum- 
stances must they be allowed to set foot on St. Simons Island and 
discover our skeleton defenses." 

Then, turning to William, he said, "You, sir, must make the best 
speed possible to the man-of-war and acquaint Captain Gascoigne 
that he is to take Captain Detnpsey and the delegation on board and! 
to entertain them until I get there." 

"I understand, sir." 

"I am obliged to continue on to Fort St. George with the re- 
cruits; but I will return with the utmost dispatch." 

Five days later James Oglethorpe sailed through Jekyll Sound 
directly under the nose of the Haw\ with its distinguished guests 
aboard and continued up the Altamaha. On reaching Frederica, he 
scarcely took time to greet the people before issuing orders. He sent 
Captain Mackay straightway to Darien. "I want you to bring back," 
he explained, "the genteelest Highlanders you can locate to accom- 
pany me to the conference." 

Then turning to Francis Moore, he said, "I trust you know where 
you can lay your hands on those two handsome tents we brought 
over; those with the side walls lined in Chinese silk. I desire to 
pitch them on Jekyll Island for the Spanish commission." 

Next, he designated Major Richard, whom he had brought back 
with him, and William Horton to take the tents and pitch them on 
Jekyll and to furnish them with tables, chairs, army beds and 
refreshments and when all was ready to conduct the visitors there 
and inform them that it would be his pleasure to wait upon them 
on the morrow. 

James Oglethorpe sailed for this rendezvous from St. Simons 
Point, which he had reached with six other officers on horseback. 
The party had to be limited to seven as there were only seven 
horses on the whole island. Nevertheless, James Oglethorpe felt he 
should arrive at the Point on horseback to show the Spaniards, in 
case they had their glasses trained that way, that the Colony did 
have horses. Besides, he argued, there was the possibility of moving 



the horses so fast from place to place they would be mistaken for 
twenty-seven. 

The members of the Independent Company and the cannon at 
the fort were also maneuvered to appear much more impressive 
than they really were. The company was drawn up in only one line 
and spaced twice as far apart as customary and the cannon, when 
the boat shoved off with James Oglethorpe and Captain Gascoigne, 
were loaded and fired and reloaded and refired as rapidly as hu- 
manly possible. 

Alighting at Jekyll, James Oglethorpe greeted Don Pedro and 
Don Manuel and other members of the commission warmly. Don 
Pedro was a little man with an air of good breeding and a face of 
intelligence. According to the Georgia leader's advices, he was born 
in Florida, his father having been captain general of Florida, and 
had never been to Europe. He had a house near St. Augustine 
that was reported to be well fortified and he owned great herds of 
cattle and also an estate in Mexico. He was rated the ruling man in 
Florida, with even more influence than the governor of St. Augus- 
tine. 

This first visit was purely a social one, James Oglethorpe ex- 
plained. The next day, if the Spaniards so desired, they could dis- 
cuss business at dinner on the Haw\. Don Pedro accepted gra- 
ciously. 

"Then at that time," James Oglethorpe added, bowing very low, 
"I will receive any communication you desire to convey." 

Though Bart spent the night and the next morning hauling 
men, flags, marquisette draperies and refreshments of all kinds 
sheep, hogs, poultry, butter, cheese, garden stuff, wine and beer 
to the Hawl^ he was still unprepared for the sight that greeted him 
when he came aboard for dinner. A detachment of Highlanders 
from Fort St. Andrews, with broadswords and targets drawn, lined 
one side of the ship and a guard of the King's troops, in full regi- 
mentals, with bayonets fixed, lined the other. But that wasn't all. 
His Majesty's sailors manned all the shrouds, and sentries, with 
drawn cutlasses, stood at the door of the cabin where the feast was 
spread. 

"Damme," muttered Bart, "the Great White Father is certainly 
spreading his wings." 
90 



But he shook his head even more as the dinner ended and James 
Oglethorpe rose to propose a toast to His Catholic Majesty, the 
King of Spain, and Don Manuel responded with a toast to the 
King of England and cannon began to bang all over the place. 
The cannon of the Haw\ started the uproar; but no sooner had the 
last boom faded than the cannon from the Point on St. Simons 
began. Then faraway rumbles, like continued tumbling of stones, 
sounded from Frederica, Darien and Fort St. Andrews. 

The little black eyes of Don Pedro darted across the table again 
and again to meet the much larger black eyes of Don Manuel. 
Ugh, Bart grunted to himself, they are amazed, But not James 
Oglethorpe. He sat serenely at the head of the table, his eyelids 
half closed, stroking now and then the side of his nose. He was 
happy as a cat with a saucer of milk, Bart decided; then shrugged 
off the comparison. Having one's orders carried out with such 
precision was surely tastier than any milk. 

The storm of firing over, Don Pedro bent his small head toward 
Don Manuel, lifted his eyebrows slightly and murmured, "No 
wonder Don Ignatio made more haste home than out." 

Bart glanced at James Oglethorpe to see if he had caught it. Yes, 
there was a quiver at the corner of his mouth; but almost as 
quickly as it came it was gone and he announced gravely to the 
dons that he was now at their service and they, just as gravely, 
tended their credentials and begged leave to present a memorial. 
The memorial was on the finest parchment, tied with ribbon and 
sealed with red wax. 

"I extend you thanks, Don Pedro," said James Oglethorpe, 
accepting it. "I will give it my most careful attention and return 
my answer to you at the earliest possible moment." 

That moment was at dinner the very next day. This dinner was 
long and even more elaborate than the day before: barbecued pig, 
roast lamb, Ogeechee shad, garden corn, green peas, salad greens, 
loaf bread, fresh figs and cream, cheese, coffee and red Lisbon wine. 

James Oglethorpe waited until the gentlemen were sipping their 
coffee to read the answer. It hadn't been too difficult to frame for 
the memorial simply asked by what right James Oglethorpe settled 
on St. Simons and the neighboring islands and lands, when they 
undoubtedly belonged to Spain as was proven as recently as 1724 

91 



when, in answer to a complaint by His Catholic Majesty that 
Englishmen had unlawfully erected a fort and established a garrison 
on St. Simons, the Duke of Newcastle sent orders to the governor 
o Carolina to demolish the fort and remove the garrison. 

"With respect to what you lay down," James Oglethorpe began, 
"that the subject of the King of Great Britain had formerly forti- 
fied on St. Simons but later withdrew the garrison because the land 
belonged to the King of Spain, give me leave to say that I am in- 
formed by gentlemen worthy of faith and by officers at that time in 
the King of Great Britain's garrison in these parts that they did not 
withdraw from the fort by any order from His Majesty, but that 
their quarters were changed by orders of the Council of Carolina 
by reason of the difficulty of sending provisions to them. . . ." 

Bart dozed off, but was waked after a moment by his head 
pitching forward. No one, though, had noticed, he consoled him- 
self after a quick look around, for all eyes were still fastened upon 
James Oglethorpe as he went steadily on: "As for the letter from 
His Grace, the Duke of Newcastle, it is dated in 1724 and the 
company did not depart till the year 1727, so clearly their departure 
was not the effect of that letter." 

James Oglethorpe rested at this point and gazed slowly about 
the table. The dons seemed completely relaxed, even heavy-eyed, 
after so much food and wine. Don Pedro was idly turning the stem 
of his glass while Don Manuel sat on the lower end of his spine, 
following the gyrations of a horse fly. 

"Give me leave to assure you," James Oglethorpe concluded 
with a flourish, "that if you have anything further to say I shall 
receive it with pleasure from such agreeable messengers and shall 
strive to make your stay here and your passage back as little incon- 
venient as a wild country will permit." 

Don Pedro shoved back his chair, stood up, took a dip of snuff 
and held it daintily to his nose, cleared his throat and, at last, said, 
"Your Excellency, allow me to express the appreciation of my com- 
panions and my humble self for your generous hospitality and 
courteous treatment and to say that 'tis my belief that my govern- 
ment will refer the settling of the limits of the English boundaries 
to the Courts of Europe." 

"I consider that to be the wisest course," James Oglethorpe replied 
92 



evenly, his eyes sober, hiding the excitement that surged through 
him, for the rat had stuck his head into the trap. By the time the 
Courts of Europe could pass upon the dispute, he would have his 
forts completed and furnished with troops. Then no matter what 
the decision from Europe, it would be very difficult for the Span- 
iards to dislodge him. 

"In the meantime," Don Pedro went on smoothly, "we Spaniards 
will do our part to live amicably on these shores with the English 
and to be good neighbors. I feel sure the Governor would like to 
draw up an agreement to this purpose if you will be so kind, your 
excellency, as to send a commission to co-sign it." 

James Oglethorpe agreed to send Captain Dempsey and Mr. 
Horton. 

Well, it was finally over, Bart thought gratefully. With very 
little sleep the night before and the night before that and the night 
before that . . . confound it, he couldn't remember when he had 
had a full night's sleep ... his eyes felt as if all the sands on the 
beaches of Georgia were in them. 

However, he congratulated himself too soon. Now Don Pedro 
and James Oglethorpe were exchanging gifts. Don Pedro gave 
James Oglethorpe sweetmeats, chocolate and snuff. James Ogle- 
thorpe returned the compliment with a gold watch and a gun for 
Don Pedro and a silver watch for Don Manuel. 

Then looking down the long length of the table at Bart, the 
Georgia leader called out, "Captain Galloway, I want you to escort 
the commission back to the mouth of the St. Johns. See that you 
have plenty of refreshments on board, please, and be ready to sail 
at Don Pedro's convenience." 

"Aye, sir," Bart managed to answer before he reeled out of the 
cabin on to the deck to find a spot, any spot, on which to stretch 
out and sleep. 



93 



IX 



ONE evening in late May Bart made the cutter fast at the 
foot of the Savannah Bluff and waited impatiently for James 
Oglethorpe to disembark so he could head for Duke Street. 

It was a beautiful night to court a maid. The sky was as deep a 
blue as the sea far offshore and the half-moon lay still upon it like 
a white ship without its sails and the air was caressing and sweet 
with the scent of magnolias and bays that were in wide-open bloom 
in the surrounding woods. 

Most of the houses along Duke were dark, Bart noted appre- 
hensively. No doubt the women had gone to bed and the men were 
at Jenkins' or Penrose's taverns, playing at hazard. However, a 
faint glow spilled from the front right window of the Forsyths'. 
Praying under his breath that only Heather was still up, he eased 
to the window and peeped inside. He was in luck. Heather was 
sitting alone, reading a very tattered copy of the London Magazine. 
The sight gave him a slight turn. He had never in his many day- 
dreams about Heather pictured her with a paper or a magazine or a 
book. Weaving, yes; darning, knitting, sewing, cooking, hoeing, 
bathing, sleeping . . . every way, except reading. 

He tapped with his fingernails at the pane, but Heather paid no 
attention. She must believe him to be a moth or a June bug butting 
its head toward the candlelight. Again he pecked. Slowly, as if her 
mind were still in the magazine, she turned her eyes and gazed at 
him with no sign of recognition; then a little cry of shock escaped 
her and she hopped up and flew out of the room. 

The next minute she was in his arms and his mouth was swing- 
ing against hers insistently. He had no time or patience for words. 
He must love her immediately. The tide of his desire had been 
rising ever since the cutter turned toward Savannah. With no 

94 



thought of caution, he picked her up, set her' over the pales of the 
low fence that separated the side garden from the street, then 
with a grace that would have surprised him if he had been con- 
scious of it, vaulted over behind her and carried her to the rear of 
the lot where three newly planted peach trees shaded the sand from 
the white beam of the moon. 

Heather was the first to catch her breath. Remembering she had 
had no word from Bart since he had left for Frederica, though she 
had written him a long, chatty, affectionate letter, she said, "Oh, 
my dearest, I've been so troubled about you these past weeks." 

"Why, lass, the Spaniard hasn't yet been born who can harm 
Bart Galloway." 

"I wasn't thinking about Spaniards. I never have believed they 
had any warlike intentions against Georgia and now I'm sure 
of it since I hear that they've agreed in a most amiable fashion to 
allow the Courts of Europe to settle our southern boundaries." 

"Then, lass, what were you troubled about?" 

"About whether you really care for me or not. All these weeks 
you've not written me one letter." 

"Damme, lass, I never write to anybody. I abhor scribbling." 

"Even Mama noticed that I never got a letter from you. Almost 
every day she made some remark to the effect that when a man 
sincerely loves a woman he naturally wants to write to her and to 
hear from her in turn." 

Indeed these had been Truly's only references to Bart and, though 
Heather told herself that she was not troubled by them, they 
rankled in her bosom. At Jason's insistence, Truly had agreed to 
the engagement when Bart asked for Heather's hand; but she 
hadn't been at all pleased about it and never allowed a mail pouch 
to arrive from Frederica without taking note of the fact that there 
was no letter for Heather and commenting upon it. 

Consequently Heather found herself wondering whether Bart 
was really indifferent to her. Had she so hastily given herself to 
him that he regarded her as no better than a whore? Just a light 
person of the streets whom he needn't consider when James Ogle- 
thorpe and her claims upon him clashed? Shouldn't she have re- 
strained him from gratifying his passion and hers too, if the truth 
must be known till a parson was handy to perform the marriage? 

95 



Bart pulled his hard arm from under Heather's shoulders and 
propped his head on his hand so he could look through the softly 
diffused light into her face. "Lass, my writing or not writing has 
nothing to do with my feelings toward you/' Bart's voice was 
stern and, with abrupt roughness, he drew her body closer to 
his in the deep sand. "You are my true love." 

"Oh, darling, say it again." There were tears in her eyes and 
throat. 

"You are my true love." 

Heather sighed happily and for a long moment they were both 
quiet, staring up through the chinks of the peach tree at the low- 
hung sky that was so shiny it looked freshly painted; then Bart 
said, "I understand, lass, Mr. John Wesley is back in Savannah. 
Would it suit you if I asked him to read the banns this Sunday? 
I believe Mr. Oglethorpe intends to spend several days here this 
time." 

" 'Twould suit me perfectly. And you, Bart?" 

"Of course, it would suit me. How can you ask? The sooner we 
can wed and you can return with me to Frederica the happier I 
will be." 

"Thank you, my dearest. . . . What is it like Frederica?" 

"To tell you the truth it looks very much like an army camp. 
All the A-shaped bowers that Mr. Oglethorpe had built and cov- 
ered with palmetto fans have turned a ... a ... sort of pale 
brown and from a distance they resemble tents." 

"Aren't there any houses yet?" 

"Some, but most people are still living in these temporary struc- 
tures on the back of their lots." 

"They sound beautiful to me, dearest." Heather's voice was 
vibrant, excited. "Can we have one?" 

A frown creased Bart's blond brow. "I'm not sure, Heather; 
I really haven't thought anything about it. I sleep on the cutter, you 
know and so ... er ..." 

"Could I sleep on the cutter?" 

"I should say not!" Bart was horrified at the suggestion. 

"Well, don't you think it is about time, Bart, you did think about 
where we're to live? Especially if you're going to ask Mr. John 
Wesley to say the banns." 



"Yes, lass, I suppose so. However, up to now I've been so busy 
carrying out Mr. Oglethorpe's orders . . ." 

"I know." 

Bart's pale blue eyes swung about and searched as best they 
could Heather's dim face. Her white even teeth shone in a broad, 
teasing smile. Relieved, he asked, "Are you very particular, my 
love, where we live just so we live together?" He pulled her head 
to his and pressed his open, warm lips on hers. 

When her mouth was free, she murmured, "No, my dearest, any 
place will do in a pinch . . . or" her chuckles bubbled up 
"should I say in a clinch?" 

He rolled his head back upon the sand and guffawed delight- 
edly, though quietly. "Damme, lass," he said at last, "such low 
jests coming from you astound me." Again he gathered her ex- 
citedly into his arms. "You give me real happiness deep down in- 
side." 

"I'm glad." Her face beamed with pleasure at her small success. 

"But to return to the problem of a place to lay our heads," Bart 
said, "you're absolutely right. Now that I'm going to speak to Mr. 
Wesley I must put on my thinking cap and come up with some 
plan." 

But the next day was so full Bart didn't get around to approach- 
ing John Wesley. James Oglethorpe called a meeting in the morning 
in the Courthouse of all the Savannah inhabitants freeholders and 
indentured servants, too and Bart felt he should attend. 

After telling the people how happy he was to be with them again, 
the Georgia leader said, "I've beared that some of you here are 
dissatisfied; that some of you feel you haven't been treated fairly." 

Heather's lips pressed together and a small sound resembling 
"umph" escaped them. So at last the grumblings of the Savan- 
nahians had penetrated his Spanish-preoccupied mind. Well, it was 
about time! 

"I want you to know that I regret this with all my heart." James 
Oglethorpe fell silent while his eyes searched the faces of the 
crowd. The people were quiet, too, deadly quiet, as if waiting to 
hear him out, so, drawing in his breath, he went on, "If anyone 
here has been abused or oppressed by any man, in or out of employ- 

97 



ment, I want him to know he is free to express himself and has 
full liberty of complaining." 

Why, he wasn't referring to the real causes of dissatisfaction at 
all, Heather realized with a shock; he wasn't referring to the ter- 
rible, crippling restrictions. 

The other settlers realized it, too, and a storm of mutterings and 
scraping of feet swept the room. 

"I don't mean now," James Oglethorpe added curtly, "but let 
anyone who has complaints deliver them in writing at my house. 
I will read all of them myself and try to do every man justice." 

Swiftly, Dr. Tailfer and another Scotsman, Robert Williams, and 
Jason jumped to their feet, but James Oglethorpe acted as if he 
didn't even see them. Deliberately he turned his back upon them 
and began to sort through some loose sheets of paper on a chair, 

Robert Williams was a tall, big-framed, fair-complected man with 
a sharp owl-like nose curving above an upper lip so thin that only 
a lining of pink flesh showed. He, like Dr. Tailfer, was more well- 
to-do than most Savannahians. He exported lumber to the West 
Indies and imported sugar and molasses. Shaking his walking stick 
at James Oglethorpe's back, he growled, "Don't ye fear; I'll write 
ye. And the words will scorch the paper they are scribbled on." 

Shortly after dinner, before Heather had even finished washing 
the dishes, Robert, Dr. Tailfer and Henry appeared at the Forsyths' 
to ask Jason's help in drawing up their complaints. 

"We'd best let Mr. Oglethorpe have the facts straight from the 
shoulder," Dr. Tailfer announced, tapping the floor impatiently 
with his gold-headed walking stick. "We can't make a living with 
the present restrictions and there's no reason to pussyfoot around 
about it." 

"I concur heartily with your conclusions, Doctor," Jason said in 
his quiet way, leaning far over in his chair and gesturing with one 
hand, "but have you considered that Mr. Oglethorpe might con- 
sider we haven't given sufficient time to the experiment to set out 
specific grievances?" 

"God Almighty!" Dr. Tailfer's intense brown eyes snapped. "I've 
allowed enough time to go bankrupt. How much time does Mr, 
Oglethorpe require?" 

Good for Dr. Tailfer, Heather thought fervently. The hour to 



speak out had certainly come. Look at Jason: his flesh worn to the 
bone, his eyes sunk in his skull, his cheeks deeply furrowed. The 
pitiful sight of him made her heart ache and her blood boil. The 
past six weeks had been the worst he'd experienced since corning to 
Georgia. Timothy had been drunk or ill continuously and yet there 
had been no money and no way to raise money to hire another 
servant, and the rains had been unusually hard and the sun unu- 
sually hot, causing the weeds to spring up and smother the little 
blades of corn. 

"I understand, Doctor," Jason answered, his voice still low and 
reasonable, "but your case is different from most of us. You didn't 
come on the Charity of the Trustees, but paid your own way . . ." 

"Which makes my situation all the more tragic. Why, I not only 
paid my own passage, but the passage of twenty-five servants. 
White, of course, damn their good-for-nothing souls!" The loose 
jowls of Dr. Tailfer's freckled face shook with indignation. 

Jason leaned farther forward. "But you must remember, sir, you 
were allotted five hundred acres of land." 

"So I was, and there my precious savings are now buried." The 
surgeon laid his stick beside his silver-braided and plumed beaver 
on the kitchen table and began to feel through the pockets of his 
black brocaded waistcoat. 'Tve kept a careful account in pounds 
sterling of all my expenditures and credits in this venture, covering 
a two-and-a-half year period, and it's here for anybody to see." He 
brought forth two pieces of fine bond paper, several times folded, 
and spread them out on his knee with careful fingers. 

"Doctor, why don't you read it to us?" Jason suggested. 

"Ill be only too happy to. ... Now the first set of figures deal 
with the money I expended. They show it cost me to enlist twenty- 
five servants and maintain them in Britain, 50 pounds; to maintain 
them in Georgia for two years and six months at the rate of a 
pound of meat and a pound of bread per diem and a quart of 
molasses to each servant, 415 pounds, 14 shillings and 7% pence; 
and to keep them in clothing at the rate of four osnaburg shirts, 
two pairs of trousers, one hat, one cap, four pairs of shoes, a cloth 
jacket and breeches, one blanket and a pair of Indian boots yearly 
to each servant, 210 pounds, 8 shillings and 4 pence." 

Dr. Tailfer shot his eyes about, peering earnestly first at Jason, 

99 



then at Robert and Henry and finally across the room, briefly, at 
Heather. She looked shocked enough to please him, for the figures 
were indeed astronomical. 

"But, of course, my friends, that's only part of the expense," Dr. 
Tailfer continued. "I paid out for tools and nails, 70 pounds, 4 shil- 
lings; for smithwork as per John West's bill, 20 pounds, 16 shillings, 
7 pence; for medicine and surgeon's attendance for said servants, 
100 pounds, 3 shillings, 7 pence; for carpenters' wages and other 
charges, providing a parcel of lumber which I sold to the Honor- 
able Trustees, 24 pounds; for boat and piragua and carriage hire 
to and from said plantation, 28 pounds, 10 shillings; and for serv- 
ants' wages, 30 pounds. In total, gentlemen, my expenses were 
1,075 pounds." 

Having slowly pronounced that staggering figure, Dr. Tailfer 
stared excitedly, almost victoriously, at each person in the room. 

" 'Tis a most formidable sum to have spent," said Jason, shaking 
his head. "A most formidable sum, but then your returns must have 
been considerable, too?" 

"You would think so," Henry, who had already heard the figures, 
exclaimed, pleased, flinging wide one arm, "but 'old, Jason, 'old." 

Dr, Tailfer continued for a few more minutes to peer from face 
to face; then he announced importantly, "My friends, for that stu- 
pendous outlay, I received for 449 bushels of corn, 67 pounds; for 
292 bushels of potatoes, 20 pounds, 18 shillings; for fifty shingles, 
30 pounds; for lumber sold to the Honorable Trustees, 20 pounds, 
making a grand total, gentlemen, of 168 pounds, 18 shillings." 

There was an impressive silence, then Jason, relaxing back into 
his wing chair, asked, "And that's everything, Doctor?" 

"Everything." 

Again there was silence until Jason inquired, "What, Doctor, do 
you suggest to halt such losses?" He sounded tired, disillusioned, 

"Give up and move into town," he answered bitterly. 

"Allow me to give my suggestions," spoke up Robert Williams 
hurriedly as if he had been bottled up too long. "All of you are 
already acquainted with 'em; you've heard 'em often enough; but 
I'll review 'em so we'll know exactly what we desire to say to Mr. 
Oglethorpe and the Trustees. 

"First, the planters must be allowed to have Negro slaves." 



100 



Robert held up the index finger of his left hand and struck it with 
the index finger of the right. "White servants can't compare with 
Negroes. Look at the difference in the length of white servants' 
indentures compared to Negroes. White servants are usually in- 
dentured for only four years and they lose at least one of those 
by their frequent illnesses and their many hours of rest in the 
middle of the day during the summers. And then when their 
indentures expire, their masters have to go either to England to find 
others or take hardened wretches, such as that boatload of Irish 
transports who found their way here when those storms at sea 
blew them off their course.'* 

"I know," muttered Jason. "Remember I have one of 'em." 

Robert's middle finger now went up. "Second, there is a great 
difference betwixt the expense of white servants and Negroes, for 
Negroes can endure the climate without almost any clothes just 
a cap, jacket and pair of trousers made of some coarse woolen stuff 
and one pair of shoes in the winter; whereas white servants have to 
be clothed as Europeans and in proportion to the season of the year. 
Then the cost of the diet of the Negroes is much less than white 
men, for the Negroes can live on salt meat, Indian corn and pota- 
toes, which they raise themselves without any expense to their 
masters except for the seed, and they have nothing to drink but 
water, whilst white servants must be fed with fresh meat, bread 
and other victuals suitable to Europeans and must have beer or 
other strong liquors or else they turn feeble and languid and are 
unable to do their work." 

Another of Robert's fingers went up to join the other two and 
be beat upon. "Third, white servants can run away much more 
easily than Negroes, for 'tis impossible to tell whether they be 
servants or not." 

"You assuredly make a good case," Jason said, leaning forward 
again. 

"Your pardon, sir," said Robert. "I'm not finished, yet." 

"Do forgive me, sir." 

"I was going to say Georgia can never compete successfully in 
trade with South Carolina unless she's allowed Negro slaves, too. 
Take lumber for instance. Though Georgians must cut the timber 
on their land before they can plant, they can't afford to manufac- 

101 



ture it for a foreign market, for the South Carolinians can fell it 
and load it at one-half the price. The same thing is true of any 
product the Georgians can raise or manufacture rice, pitch, tar, 
potash, brick, wine, silk. Unless we can get on an equal economic 
footing with the Carolinians and other colonists, we can never 
enjoy any export trade. And if we can never have any export 
trade, then we can never support ourselves. So just what does Mr. 
Oglethorpe expect us Georgians to do?" 

"I'm sure I don't know," said Jason, his dark eyes sober and his 
head shaking slowly from side to side. "Yet I'm afraid he will 
never agree to Negro slaves. As I've heard him say, he believes 
they will encourage us poor whites to be idle." 

"Fiddlesticks!" barked Dr. Tailfer angrily. "We don't plan to 
use Negroes in any mechanic business, but only in cutting down 
trees and stumps, hoeing, trenching and fencing and in all other 
ways of clearing the land, and in making turpentine and tar and in 
beating of rice." He stood up, recovered his walking stick from the 
table and strode about the room. "We have quantities of good, 
choice land for rice here, but 'tis impossible to produce it in any 
great quantity by white people." 

"That's ha fact," Henry agreed, spreading out both arms. "White 
servants cannot work in the wet and the 'eat like Negroes to weed 
the rice. The labor is too 'ard and the 'eat too 'ot." 

"We would still use our white servants in all handicraft trade," 
said Robert. "Making vineyards, taking care of the silkworms, 
winding the silk, raising flax and hemp " 

"In my opinion," broke in Jason firmly, "a much more serious 
grievance than the prohibition against Negro slaves is that stupid 
ruling that we can't own our lands outright. A man must be able 
to mortgage or sell his land if he is to be in a position to borrow 
money in order to hire help and to do business." 

"Of course," said Robert, throwing up his hands. "That goes 
without saying. You simply have to have property in your own 
name if you're to secure credit." 

Their grievances were real, the four men agreed but, neverthe- 
less, they decided to wait until another day to draw up formal 
complaints. It would take considerable time to draw them properly 
and have them signed by all the people who felt as they did and 

102 



they wouldn't have that much time before James Oglethorpe's re- 
turn to Frederica. 

Heather was disappointed in their decision indeed, she was 
furious but as none of them asked her opinion all she could do 
was fume inwardly. 

Unfortunately for Bart, he arrived when she was still in this 
dark mood, to invite her to go aboard the Samuel from London 
which had just anchored oil the Bluff with a black coach stone 
horse for James Oglethorpe. 

"Thank you, but I can't possibly go," she said very stiffly. "I 
have work to do." 

"Damme, forget about the work this once," Bart argued. " Tis 
a beautiful horse and Mr. Oglethorpe desires me to figure out the 
best way to land him." 

"Well, maybe, if it won't take too much time." The afternoon 
was hot and drenched with sun; she really couldn't bear to spend 
another minute indoors. 

Swinging along Drayton toward the river, Bart, completely un- 
conscious of her dark mood, began blithely to brag about the 
horse. "This is a very special animal we're going to see," he said. 
"Mr. Oglethorpe bought him through an agent in England and he 
had Mr. Oakes, the King's own coachman, to inspect him and Mr. 
Oakes wrote Mr. Oglethorpe he considered him an exceedingly fine 
creature." 

"Really?" Heather murmured absently. 

"Mr. Oakes also wrote Mr. Oglethorpe he was furnishing for 
the voyage a watering bridle and saddles, such as the King's 
horses have, two ship halters, a lanthorn, a sieve and an old quar- 
tern measure." 

Again Heather murmured, "Really?" 

"And his stall on board was lined with sheepskin with the wool 
left on so he couldn't hurt himself, and there were also two slings 
to swing him in, in case there were heavy storms over the Atlantic. 
And he had a well-seasoned puncheon to keep the water sweet, for 
old wine casks, you know, alter the taste of water." 

"No, I didn't know." Heather couldn't have sounded less in- 
terested; but Bart didn't notice. He reached out for her arm and 
pressed it hard against his side. 

103 



"He also hail twenty bushels of the finest oats/' he went on, "and 
twenty trusses of hay. I tell you, lass, they were taking no chances 
with this animal." 

"I can see that, In fact, he appears to have fared better than the 
people who came on the Charity.'* 

Bart jerked his head about quickly and peered down at Heather. 
"Ah, now, lass, why would you say a thing like that?" He was 
shocked and hurt. 

"Simply because it's the truth. Mr. Oglethorpe didn't go to half 
that much trouble with anybody he brought over." 

"Should he have?" Bart tried to be jocular. "Should he have 
built sheepskin-lined stalls?" 

Heather refused to be amused. "You know what I mean, Bart. 
He just isn't that interested in anybody's welfare. He " 

"You certainly aren't talking about Mr. Oglethorpe, Heather!" 
Bart's tone was sharp, "Not about Mr. Oglethorpe, who has de- 
voted the last half-dozen years of his life to giving a second chance 
to people who were down and out?" 

"No, not exactly. I'm talking about the Mr. Oglethorpe who 
brought people to a strange land and then saddled them with so 
many restrictions they aren't able to support themselves." 

"Such as?" 

"Such as the restriction which forbids the people from owning 
their homes and lands outright." Heather half ran and half walked 
with little quick steps to keep abreast of Bart, who was hurrying 
faster and faster. "No matter how hard they work, they can never 
call their homes and lands their own. I think it is outrageous. 
Simply outrageous!" 

"Maybe, it does seem so," Bart said, his voice now calm and 
reasonable, "but, Heather, you must remember that rule was made 
to prevent the people from mortgaging or selling their lands so that 
they would always have them and be able to provide a living on 
them for their families. If " 

"But they" 

"Please, lass, just a moment; let me have my say. You see if the 

settlers could mortgage or sell their lands, they would soon do so 

and be no better off than they were in England. Of course as long 

as the Trustees continued to supply them with food and other 

104 



necessities, their destitute condition wouldn't be apparent; but the 
day the Store shut off the rations and that day is bound to come 
then the people would be begging for food in the streets. It is to 
prevent that situation that the Trustees laid down that restriction." 

"You mean it is why Mr. Oglethorpe laid down that restriction." 
Heather glared at Bart with infuriated eyes. "But what I want to 
know is just what kind of people does Mr. Oglethorpe think the 
colonists are that they would have so little affection for their families 
and so little thought for the future that they would sell or mortgage 
their lands recklessly? He certainly must have mighty little respect 
for *em if he believes they would dispose of their lands without 
good reason. Does my father impress you as that sort of man?" 

"No, Heather, my sweet." Bart shook his head unhappily. "Not 
your father, but you must admit there are a goodly number of 
settlers who would mortgage or sell their lands for rum or gin or 
a bolt of brocade or " 

"If there are, Bart Galloway, then Georgia would be better off 
without them. Let 'em mortgage and sell their lands and move to 
South Carolina or whither they will. Why such people would be 
fitter for ... for ... for Bedlam than Georgia." 

"Maybe so, lass, but on the other hand these . , , these thought- 
less people might be saved from their improvidence and become 
substantial citizens if they aren't allowed to rid themselves of their 
lands for some whim." 

Heather was so angry she couldn't continue walking. Indifferent 
to the people on the street, she jumped in front of Bart, her clenched 
fists on her hips. "So, because of a few weak men, Mr. Oglethorpe 
will keep us all in strait jackets. We must be the slaves, not Negroes. 
We must remain paupers, denied all earthly comforts." Heather's 
voice was high with rage and bitterness. "We must toil and toil 
and toil and for what ? So we may be absolutely sure to die with- 
out one foot of property." 

"Heather, you are exaggerating matters terribly and you know 
it," Bart said, staring at her with eyes so hard they looked flat and 
colorless. 

Yes, perhaps she was exaggerating, she thought with one de- 
tached part of her brain; but she had worked herself up into such 
a tantrum, she couldn't stop. She was swept on as if caught by a 

105 



huge wave. "All other young settlements are given the fullest 
rights and all the immunities and privileges of their mother 
countries, but not Georgia. Mr. Oglethorpe was so concerned with 
our welfare that he couldn't possibly permit us any advantages. 
Why such advantages might inflate our weak minds with pride; 
they might bring about comforts to which we weren't accustomed 
that would pamper our bodies and bring about all sorts of awful 
evils. No, Mr. Oglethorpe must protect us from ourselves." 

"Lookee, Heather," Bart barked in enraged tones. "Mr. Ogle- 
thorpe was no more responsible for that regulation than the other 
Trustees. I'd remember that if I were you." 

"Maybe so, but when Mr. Oglethorpe was back in England he 
could have influenced them to change it if he had wanted to. He 
had spent a year amongst us. He was sensible of the hardships it 
worked. The Trustees would have listened to him. But what did 
he do? He rushed about getting new laws laid down and gather- 
ing new settlers, but not for Savannah. Oh, no! New settlers to 
halt the invading Spaniards." 

"Heather, you talk like a fool!" said Bart shortly and hotly. 

Heather wanted to slap his face; but she controlled herself suffi- 
ciently to glare at him for a full second with enough fire in her 
eyes to wither him, then she rushed by him haughtily and headed 
back toward Duke Street. 



106 



A FEW days later, Bart, feeling miserable in body and mind, 
was repairing the mainsail of the cutter along the beach at the 
foot of the Bluff. Full summer had already arrived. The distant 
hot-blue bowl of the sky was spilling over with a shimmering, 
steaming, sticky mass of heat that was spreading out and sealing in 
the broad flat land. 

Bart mopped the running sweat from his face and neck. God- 
damn such weather! And Goddamn Heather! He hadn't seen her 
since their quarrel and he wasn't sure he wanted to see her. He had 
been in such a rage with her he had put off asking John Wesley 
to read the banns until it was too late, for now John had departed 
for Charles Town with his brother Charles, who had had enough 
of Georgia and was returning to England. So, when he made his 
peace with Heather, he would have to tell her he had failed to speak 
to John and she would be disappointed and hurt. 

He raised up to ease the stiffness in his back and neck and saw 
James Oglethorpe standing on the rim of the Bluff, peering down 
at him. With a start, Bart realized James Oglethorpe looked ill. 
There was a drawn, haggard sag to his cheeks and his eyes seemed 
shrunken up in dark rings like ponds in a drought. Perhaps he 
was ill from this Georgia heat. 

"How are you, sir?" Bart yelled up to him. 

"As well as can be expected, Bart." His thin voice was peculiarly 
flat and lifeless. 

Bart went up the stairs to join him, lifting his hand to shade 
his eyes from the blinding sun. 

"But, Bart, I'm almost sick with worry." 

"I'm terribly sorry to hear that, sir." 

Wiping his glistening face with a sheer white handkerchief, 

107 



James Oglethorpe sat down on the top step and Bart flopped down 
beside him, shoving out his sturdy legs in front o him and putting 
his arms like posts behind him to support the upper half of his 
body. Three gulls were circling lazily away from the river toward 
Bay Street, emitting their plaintive, squeaking noises. 

"I wouldn't want this to get about the Colony, Bart," James 
Oglethorpe said, sighing, "for it could destroy what little morale 
we do have; but I'm the recipient of a letter from the Trustees, or, 
to be more exact, from Mr. Benjamin Martyn, the secretary of that 
honorable body, written on April first, three months past now, 
mark you, ordering me to do away with the setdement of Fred- 
erica." 

Bart sat straight up as if a log had been dropped on his knees. 
How in the name of the Lord God could the Trustees order any 
such blasted thing? Could they have any conception whatever of 
the days, the nights, the weeks, the months that Mr. Oglethorpe 
had given to the establishment of that outpost? Could they have 
any conception of the painful, insect-infested, monotonous, gruel- 
ing, exhausting trips he had made in open boats in the fiery sun, 
the cold rain, the slashing wind to get those people there and to 
build the forts farther south to protect them? 

"I can't believe it, sir!" Bart said. 

"I wouldn't have believed it, either, except that I read it in black 
and white. At the last session of Parliament the Trustees requested 
twenty thousand pounds to support the Colony, but were granted 
only ten thousand pounds, which is barely sufficient to subsist the 
new settlers and the old ones still remaining upon the Stores, con- 
sequently the Trustees have ordered me to lay aside all plans for 
the settlement of Frederica." 

"I still can't believe it," Bart repeated. "I still can't believe the 
Trustees can be so ignorant, so shortsighted, so unjust." 

James Oglethorpe did not try to quiet him. His face was as set 
as if a masque of putty, compounded of fury, chagrin, disillusion- 
ment and frustration, had been spread over it. He had given all 
his strength, mind and heart to build this Colony for the Crown 
and to safeguard it from the Spaniards and now to have the Trus- 
tees and Parliament go back on him in this fashion was indeed a 
bitter dose. 

108 



Bart couldn't bear to see the misery overlaying his leader's fea- 
tures and so hoisted himself up and strode a little way along the 
Bluff. So Heather didn't believe the Trustees acted without Mr. 
Oglethorpe's orders, he thought, anger again welling up in him; 
well, she should read the letter of the Trustees and then she'd know. 
They'd cut him down as if he were grass, and without one word of 
warning. 

Bart's eyes followed several Trustees' servants, smelling so high 
with gin and body sweat they almost set him a-puking, saunter 
past. One of them picked up a small block of wood, left from the 
building of the stairs, and heaved it toward an alligator, sunning 
half out of the water. 

Bart swung about and returned to James Oglethorpe's side and 
stood staring straight in front of him. The river lay empty except 
for the cutter and two canoes, piled high with deer and buffalo 
skins, rowed by Indians. 

"May I be so bold as to inquire, sir, what you're planning to do 
about this?" Bart asked finally. 

"Verily I'm at a loss," James Oglethorpe replied, getting to his 
feet, "but one thing I do know I must return immediately to 
Frederica. Please make ready to up-anchor. I'd like to catch the 
tide, if possible, at the half-flood." 

By the time James Oglethorpe reached Frederica he had made 
up his mind about the Trustees' orders. He would simply ignore 
them. He would go straight ahead strengthening the fort there and 
those farther south. This course was obligatory, he felt, because 
Spain had rejected the conclusions reached at the former confer- 
ence and was sending more delegates to present new demands and 
he couldn't allow them to find his position weakened. 

But happily before the delegation arrived another letter came 
from the Trustees, relieving him of the heavy responsibility he had 
shouldered. The Trustees wrote that, though they still opposed the 
settlement of Frederica and the forts between it and the St. Johns, 
they had decided that James Oglethorpe could continue to hold 
them if he felt by abandoning them so suddenly he would give an 
advantage to the Spaniards in the approaching conference. 

His face beaming, his eyes aglow, and rocking gently back and 

109 



forth on his heels, James Oglethorpe gloated: "The Trustees, thank 
God, have come around to my way of reasoning. They fear, just as 
I do, that the Spaniards might conclude that Great Britain will 
not insist on her claims to a country which her subjects have orders 
to desert." 

The conference, held this time under the tents on Jekyll Island, 
went satisfactorily. After long discussions, the Georgia leader agreed 
to the Spaniards' demand to withdraw the garrison from St. George 
Island, at the mouth of the St. Johns, leaving the island unoccupied 
by either nation, on the guarantee of the Spaniards that they would 
keep the peace until further advices from Europe. 

Back in Savannah Heather told herself she wasn't alarmed that 
Bart had departed for Frederica without making up with her or 
telling her good-by. The fact that he had left so suddenly on what 
surely must have been an unexpected order from James Oglethorpe 
helped her to believe what she wanted to believe that he had had 
no time to see her. He was hurt with her, she had no doubt, and 
she was unhappy about that; but she wouldn't allow herself to 
entertain the thought that he was seriously offended. By the 
time he returned to Savannah, she argued, he would be over his 
anger, as she was already over hers, and their relationship would 
be just as it had been before. 

The thing for her to do, she told herself, was to have more friends 
so she wouldn't be so dependent on Bart's presence for her happi- 
ness. Casting about among the few girls her age in Savannah, she 
decided she should start carrying out this resolve with Rachael Ure. 
It was true Rachael was morbidly shy and appeared colorless, but if 
she, Heather, showed real concern in her, maybe Rachael would 
gain some self-assurance and make an interesting companion. 

With this in mind, she started out to visit her one afternoon when 
it was too hot to work on the Lot. The streets were empty; every- 
one evidently was still taking his siesta. The thought came to her 
that maybe Rachael and Dr. Tailfer were, too. Should she go back 
home? No, she decided; she would tiptoe to the door and, before 
knocking, listen to hear if anyone was stirring inside. 

The house for some reason that Heather couldn't put her finger 
on looked sinister. The solid blinds were shut; but that really meant 
no 



nothing. All the inhabitants who had blinds on their houses pulled 
them tight during the heat of the day. 

Uneasy, she forced herself to creep to the front door. Immediately 
she realized her instincts were correct. She heard fearful, suppressed 
moans. Rachael must be woefully ill; she sounded as if she were in 
hard labor. Heather pushed open the door and her blood froze. 

Rachael, naked, was writhing on the bed, a pillow fastened with 
rags over her head and her hands tied to the bedposts, and Dr. 
Tailfer in his shirt sleeves was standing on a chair above her, 
swinging a thin coach whip. Her breasts, white as magnolia petals 
except for the brown nipples, humped awkwardly toward her arm- 
pits. 

"Stop!" shrieked Heather and hurled herself like a mad dog at 
the surgeon's legs. 

Cursing, he toppled to the floor, scrambled up and swung the 
whip in her direction. She grabbed at it, feeling the lash like fire 
in the palm of her hand. For a second she held on, Dr. Tailfer 
jerking her about as if she were a hooked fish. 

"Stop!" she shrieked again. "Stop! Stop! Stop!" 

But Dr. Tailfer didn't pay the slightest attention to her. He 
tugged at the whip with renewed force until he flung her off 
against the wall. Then he whirled and began again to lash at 
Rachael's body. Her muffled moans reached Heather above her 
own panting and hysterical gasps. She got to her feet, lurched for- 
ward, snatched at Dr. Tailfer's arm. He shrugged her off, raised 
the whip behind his head and swung it once more across Rachael. 
The pop of the lash was like a pistol shot. 

"You coward!" sobbed Heather, tearing again frantically at his 
arm. "You dirty white-livered bastard!" 

Dr. Tailfer twisted to one side, whirled back and flayed out at 
Heather with his fist and forearm, pitching her across the room 
onto the floor. For a second he glared at her with his little reddish- 
brown eyes, his blood-flushed face streaming with sweat, his chest 
heaving; then slightly shrugging his shoulders, walked out the 
door, trailing the lash of the whip behind him. 

Quickly Heather pulled herself up and rushed to the bed. One 
of Rachael's nipples was partly torn away and the blood oozed from 
the breast with a peculiar slowness like red oil and her flat stomach, 

III 



even to the thin, triangular patch of pale, silky hair, was striped 
with garnet-beaded welts. 

Her hands shaking and her throat exploding with infuriated sobs, 
Heather worked at the knots of the rags that held the pillow across 
Rachael's face until wild with frustration she abandoned them and 
tugged the rags, still tied, from around RachaePs head. Rachael lay 
as if dead; her blue-veined eyelids closed and her face as white as 
buttermilk beneath the running-together patches of yellow freckles. 

Heather hurried to the kitchen for water, dipped a rag into it and 
bathed RachaePs face. Finally Rachael opened her muddy-green 
eyes. Pain stood in them starkly. "Sweet Christ!" she wailed. 
"Sweet, sweet, sweet Christ!" 

Heather knew she must have an ointment for the open wounds. 
"Don't move, my dear," she whispered. "I'm going to run to the 
apothecary shop; but I'll be right back." She reached the hall; then 
remembered for the first time the Tailfers' baby. "Where is the 
baby?" she asked, dashing back to the bed. "The baby, where is 
she?" 

"In a box in the back yard," Rachael answered in such low, 
frightened tones Heather could scarcely hear her. "She kept crying, 
so Patrick put her outside. . . ." 

"Oh no, not in this heat!" 

"Yes, ma'am." A flash of anger showed for a second in the 
somber depths of her eyes. "Then he dragged me in here and 
whopped me." 

"God, what a knave!" In a rage that all but blinded her, Heather 
turned to leave the room and butted with a jolting force into Dr. 
Tailfer. 

"So, youVe returned," she screamed at him, stamping her foot, 
"You villain you! You scoundrel! You bastard!" 

"Yes, I'm back and I'll appreciate your keeping a civil tongue in 
your head and getting out of my house. I'll tend to my own woman, 
if you please." 

He grasped Heather's shoulder, his fingers biting into her flesh, 
propelled her out the front door and shoved her down the steps. 
For some minutes she sat in the hot sand, staring at the slammed 
door. What should she do? Should she send for Mr. Causton or 
Henry or the tithingman on duty in this ward? She longed to have 
112 



Dr. Tailfer locked up; but, no doubt, that would make matters 
worse for poor Rachael. When he was released from the log house 
that served as Savannah's jail, he would, she felt sure, take out his 
rage on Rachael Heather buried her face in her skirts to mop up 
the sweat. Like a tilted gold cup, hanging from the worn-blue shelf 
of the sky, the sun was motionless. 

She thought again of the baby. She couldn't go away and leave 
her outside in this soggy, breathless heat. She stood up; long, jagged 
splinters of pain ran through her thigh, but she managed to limp 
to the gate in the picket fence that surrounded the Tailfers' yard, 
lift the latch and walk through. The baby was by the back door, 
wrapped in a faded pink shawl, full of holes. Staring straight into 
the sky, she blinked repeatedly her watery eyes and waved lan- 
guidly one clawlike hand. 

Swiftly Heather gathered her into her arms; then recoiled in- 
wardly. She was not holding a bundle of soft, sour-sweet-smelling 
baby flesh, but a bundle of brittle sticks. "Oh, you poor darling," 
she crooned, putting her on her shoulder, her back to the sun, and 
swaying to and fro. 

The door opened and Rachael, clutching a dress in front of her, 
mumbled, "Give her to me, please." She lifted her eyes to Heather's 
for a moment, then dropped them to her grimy, bare feet. "Patrick 
says if she's stopped crying I can bring her in." 

Slowly Heather walked home, her heart heavy and her bones 
and flesh aching. She had to tell someone about this disgraceful 
affair. Of course, she could talk to Truly, but then Truly would 
take immediate, drastic action. She would have the surgeon locked 
up, no matter what the consequences might be to Rachael; her 
mother didn't believe in halfway measures. No doubt Jason would 
be her best confidant. 

Jason listened without showing the horror Heather expected. He 
regretted that a man with whom he associated socially and whose 
opinion on many matters he admired would treat a woman in this 
fashion; but it was not unusual, he said. However, he would discuss 
it with John Wesley as soon as John returned to Savannah. 

"You keep out of it, kitten," he ordered Heather as if she had 
never been involved. " 5 Tis an ugly business and I don't want you 
mixed up in it." 



A few days later the Tailfer baby died and Rachael's long, bag- 
like face grew so pale it seemed the freckles were cut from card- 
board and pasted on it. 

Then one afternoon Heather, on her way back to town from the 
Lot, spied in the woods, close by the path, a woman with her 
clothes off and a lithe-limbed man, burnt brown as a mulatto, on 
top of her. As she stared horrified at the two she suddenly realized 
the woman was none other than Rachael. Heather's first reaction 
was to run for help ... she remembered how ineffectual she had 
been when she attacked Dr. Tailfer; but even as she gathered up 
her skirts, she saw with amazement that Rachael was not strug- 
gling against the man, but was lying supine, accepting his rhythmic 
thrusts with a look of half resignation and half expectancy, her 
pale wet lips hanging slack. Heather pressed her fingers to her hot 
cheeks and bolted for home. Blood and wounds! Was it possible 
that Rachael was hoping that the man would penetrate some part of 
her being that was still feebly alive and give her pleasure? Heather 
shuddered. This act of passion between these two shocked her ter- 
ribly. She would certainly never mention it to anyone, not even to 
Bart. 

However, Bart learned the two lay together the first hour after 
he and James Oglethorpe returned to Savannah, for when John 
Wesley had come back he had ferreted out this and other facts and 
had sworn out a warrant against Dr. Tailfer in which he accused 
the surgeon of not only beating Rachael but, in order to marry 
himself another woman, of selling her to this dark-complected man, 
who was a trader in the Indian nations. John only waited for the 
arrival of James Oglethorpe in Savannah to bring the case to trial. 

When he came the Georgia leader sat upon the dais of the Court- 
house with Thomas Causton and Henry in their purple velvet 
robes, edged in ermine, and Recorder Christie in his black velvet 
robe, also edged in ermine. 

The room was packed. Heather, Truly, Jason and practically 
everybody else in Savannah and the surrounding villages crowded 
thigh to thigh on the narrow wooden benches, their bodies wet and 
sticky. 

On the front bench to the right of the dais sat John, his features 

114 



stern, his narrow shoulders thrust back; Rachael, a grayish hand 
with the nails bitten down to the quick over her trembling mouth 
and chin; and the swarthy Indian trader. 

On the left front bench was Dr. Tailfer, his elbow resting 
casually on the gold knob of his walking stick. Neither the de- 
fendant nor the prosecuter had a lawyer, for lawyers weren't al- 
lowed in Georgia courtrooms. 

As John rose to present his case, Bart came in and walked de- 
liberately down the far right aisle, looking for a seat. At the sight 
of him Heather's heart jumped. She had forgotten in these few 
weeks just how fair and silky his hair was; how dusty-pink his 
cheeks; how broad his shoulders and deep his chest. "Oh," her 
mouth rounded in an ecstatic breath. 

Finding no seat, Bart, with folded arms, leaned against the jamb 
of the window that opened onto the porch that extended around 
three sides of the building. Then calmly his eyes roved over the 
crowd until they rested upon Heather's face, turned toward him 
expectantly. Slowly he smiled and pulled his hand from beneath 
his elbow in a little intimate gesture. 

Radiant, she smiled back at him. Thank the good Lord he was no 
longer angry with her. He had decided to forget, or at least to 
overlook her furious flare-up. 

She turned her attention to the trial just in time to hear John 
say, "The scars made by the whip months ago are still visible at 
this time." Then his pale mouth clamped shut in paper-thin lines. 

The silence was so still that the buzzing of a bee, searching for 
the window through which it had zoomed, sounded as loudly as a 
sawmill. 

When the waiting seemed interminable, John asked with exag- 
gerated quietness, "And why did Dr. Tailfer flog this wretched 
girl until the blood ran?" Again he waited. "Why ... The reason 
was that the child cried. Yes, that's what I said, cried." 

Again there was a long, tense pause before John added, "For- 
tunately for the poor bastard's sake, she died, but then" John 
pointed one shaking hand with the index finger extended at the 
surgeon "then then this man sold the mother of his child to 
an Indian trader and took himself a lawful wife." 

"5 



Dr. Tailfer denied nothing, except the sale of Rachael. He de- 
clared he had given her to the trader. Yet James Oglethorpe and 
the Magistrates passed no judgment upon him. 

The Georgia leader simply asked Rachael to stand and said to 
her in gentle tones, his face queerly softened, "I stipulate that you, 
Rachael Ure, are not to be bound by the action of Dr. Tailfer, but 
are to be free. And, furthermore, I'll see to it that you receive every 
month an allowance from the Public Store." 



116 



XI 



BART was waiting on the porch of the Courthouse when 
Heather came out. Catching her by the arm, he pulled her to one 
side and for a moment stood looking down at her, his clear, 
faintly colored eyes warm and smiling. Instantly something inside 
her chest burst open, trembling, like a flower. "Would it pleasure 
you, ma'am, to stroll in the Public Garden?" he asked with mock 
formality. 

"Yes, indeed, sir!" 

Without another word, they proceeded across Johnson Square, 
then east along St. Julian Street toward the Garden. 

"That was a nasty business, wasn't it?" Bart said, tilting his 
handsome head back toward the Courthouse. 

"It most certainly was and I for one don't understand Mr. Ogle- 
thorpe allowing Dr. Tailfer to go scot-free," Heather answered 
excitedly. "If any man ever deserved to be punished, he did." 

"Well, it did sound like it," Bart admitted, "but Mr. Oglethorpe, 
no doubt, felt nothing was to be gained at this point by punishing 
him." 

"I don't see why not. If he were locked up or, better still, whipped 
by the hangman, maybe then some other man would think a long 
time before treating his common4aw wife in that shameful fashion." 

"Maybe, but then you must remember Dr. Tailfer is very in- 
fluential with the Scots group here he's the president, you know, 
of the St. Andrews Club and the high chieftain, or whatever it's 
called, of the Masons and so, perhaps, Mr. Oglethorpe doesn't 
want to antagonize him and them." 

"Well, all I can say is, that's very, very weak of Mr. Oglethorpe. 
I thought" 

"Now, now, Heather, please let's don't get into another argu- 

117 



ment about Mr. Oglethorpe." Bart held her arm hard against his 
side. "I can find no fault with the man and you, evidently, can find 
no good, so why don't we agree not to discuss him?" 

"I think that's an excellent idea," she said feelingly. 

Bart grinned at her and she grinned back. Then they walked on 
in silence, Bart's strong fingers pressing the soft flesh o her upper 
arm; their glances meeting, clashing and shearing away; their legs 
swinging together. Around them the air crackled and the sky was 
a wide-armed, shimmering, brilliant blue. 

In fact, the sky had been this brilliant blue for a long time. All 
during the late summer there had been no clouds and no rain 
and now that it was fall, there were still none just this brassy 
brightness. Most of the corn and other crops had burned to a crisp 
and again, for one more year, the settlers who had come on the 
Charity were dependent upon the Store. 

"Miss me, lass?" Bart asked finally, his low-pitched voice con- 
fident and gay. 

"What do you think, sir?" And impulsively Heather reached up 
her small hand and laid it along his cheek. "I feared that you would 
never come back." 

Bart's eyes sought hers. "I've been powerfully busy doing errands 
for Mr. Oglethorpe. He's been entertaining the Spaniards again." 

"So I heard." Heather's voice, in spite of herself, tightened. "And 
I also heard it was another very peaceful and satisfactory confer- 
ence." 

"Yea, both Mr. Oglethorpe and the Spanish dons conducted 
themselves like the polished gentlemen and diplomats they be." 

They turned into the gate of the Garden and Bart lifted his 
coonskin cap to Joseph Fitzwalter, the superintendent. Joseph's 
lanky form leaned leisurely against a post as he supervised two of 
the Trustees' servants setting out white mulberry slips. 

"We must get out of sight of those chaps," Bart whispered to 
Heather, lowering one lid over a wickedly gleaming eye. 

They followed a path directly across the Garden until it dipped 
to a low, marshy area. Halfway down the slope, in a thick grove 
of trees, Bart stopped, sat himself on a rug of crisp brown leaves, 
his back against the bole of a sycamore, and pulled Heather down 
into his lap. Stroking her neck lightly with the back of his hand, he 

118 



said, "Lass, I believe our chance to wed is finally at hand. Mr. 
Wesley is here and, as I've taken the pains to find out, is planning 
to be here for some time and I can arrange to be here for a couple 
of weeks just as soon as I return from taking Mr. Oglethorpe to 
Charles Town." His eyes began to twinkle. "Now if you can be 

here . . ." 

Heather's appreciative chuckles rushed out and quickly her hand 
went to the back of Bart's neck and she pulled herself up until her 
mouth reached his. With verve and ardor she kissed him; then 
sank back, her face exultant, her breathing fast. 

"How has this miracle come about your honoring us for such 
a long spell with your presence?" she asked gaily. 

"Well, I came right out with it and asked Mr. Oglethorpe to 
allow me the necessary time to be wed and he said he would be 
delighted for me to have it the minute he sails for England and so, 
lass" 

"Sails for England?" Heather exclaimed, her body tensing. "Bart, 
what are you talking about . . . Mr. Oglethorpe is not going to 
England, is he?" 

"Yes, he's sailing very shortly from Charles Town. I thought you 

knew." 

"Why he has just returned from England." 

"Well, not exactly. He returned in February and now 'tis No- 
vember." Bart's hand moved more purposefully in the open neck of 
her bright green bodice. He wanted to put an end to this conversa- 
tion; he had other things on his mind. 

But Heather persisted. "Why is he going back so soon?" 

"He feels obliged to go back to secure more aid for the southern 
part of the Colony." 

"For the southern part?" Heather shoved Bart's stroking fingers 
away and she crossed her arms over her exposed breasts as if to 
protect herself from him. 

"Yes, my sweet; but that's no reason for you to fire. He needs 
more money, more settlers and more troops to strengthen Frederica 
and the other forts to the south." 

"And pray, sir, why does he? Hasn't he just signed an agreement 
with the Spaniards to keep the peace?" 

119 



"Yea, Heather lass, but 'tis only a stopgap. The Spaniards are 
bound, sooner or later, to attempt to recover Georgia." 

Heather rolled swiftly out of Bart's lap onto the sand, sat up 
rigidly straight and faced him with blazing eyes. 

"Of course, if Mr. Oglethorpe continues to build forts and plant 
troops right on their border; but you can't make me believe the 
Spaniards want war. They aren't enemies of Georgia. They have 
never committed a warlike act against us. Mr. Oglethorpe has at- 
tempted to build up the appearance of a launch or two off the 
coast as an aggressive act; but the launches fired no shots." 

"Heather, do you realize what you are accusing Mr. Oglethorpe 
of?" 

"Certainly. I say he is deliberately trying to deceive us. That's 
what. He's doing his dead level best to make us believe we're in 
danger of being swallowed up by the Spaniards. But I won't I 
won't! believe it. Have they ever threatened to take us? No. It 
just suits Mr. Oglethorpe's ambition to have us think so. It gives 
him an excuse to colonize more land for the King and to be the 
great hero." 

Bart's face drained of color. His eyes seemed to flatten out and 
turn a cold gray like frozen puddles and there was a queer, hard 
set to his mouth. Heather staring furiously at him decided he looked 
actually mean. 

"I am ashamed of you, Heather," he said harshly. "I am ashamed 
of you." He jumped up and doubled both his hands into fists and 
shook them in front of him as if he were getting ready to box. 
"The very idea of you speaking in such a disgraceful fashion about 
such a great man as Mr. Oglethorpe." 

Heather hopped up, too, her whole small body shaking with 
rage. "And why shouldn't I?" she all but hissed. "Just answer me 
that, Bart Galloway. Instead of Mr. Oglethorpe returning to Eng- 
land to get Parliament and the Trustees to undo the mischief he 
has done with all his unfair restrictions, he returns to get more help 
for his beloved southern settlements and forts. He doesn't care what 
happens to us in Savannah. We can starve for all he cares. His only 
concern is for those people and places that will secure more land 
for the British domain. He's no humanitarian. He's just another 

120 



imperialist." Heather didn't know where she had got this big word; 
but she had heard it somewhere and liked it. She repeated it. "An 
imperialist, that's what he is! An imperialist!" 

Heather thought for a second Bart was going to strike her, lie 
looked that wild and furious; but very deliberately he crossed his 
arms and said in a voice as cold as his eyes, "Heather, you rant and 
rave like a Goddamned jackass and I won't listen to you another 
minute. I've stomached your slanders against Mr. Oglethorpe just 
as long as I intend to. I'm not going to take another one, you hear 
me. Not another one. I'm through! I don't intend to have anything 
to do with you ever again. 3 * 

"Nor I you!" Heather screamed and flung herself on the ground, 
sobbing uncontrollably. 

She didn't hear Bart leave, but finally when her sobs quieted and 
she raised up, he was gone. 

For the next few days, she couldn't believe that he had meant 
what he had said. He was in a rage, she argued, and people in 
rages said many things they didn't mean and were sorry for later. 
She frequently did herself. In fact, she frequently couldn't even 
remember what she had said. Bart didn't come to see her, she told 
herself just as she had done after their first quarrel, simply because 
he was taken up with the last-rninute affairs of Mr. Oglethorpe. 

The Georgia leader had set November 23rd as the day for his 
departure, but the evening before, he received word that Mary 
Musgrove's last living son was dying and so postponed his sailing 
to attend the funeral. 

Heather felt so sorry for Mary Musgrove her own unhappiness 
over Bart was temporarily numbed. This was the fourth son Mary 
had lost since the settlers had landed at Savannah and just this past 
summer her husband, John, had died of fever. Now she had no 
one. No son, no husband, and no lover so far as Heather knew. 
Some people gossiped about how often Mr. Oglethorpe and Mary 
were together; but then they also gossiped about how often he was 
with two married women in Frederica. Heather, even despising 
the man, couldn't believe he was sleeping with anyone; she was 
sure he consumed all his energy forwarding his ambitious schemes. 
Heather tried to imagine herself in Mary Musgrove's place whri- 

121 



out Bart, without Jason, without Truly, without Bobby. Oh, dear 
God, she could not bear it and she couldn't understand how Mary 
could bear it, either. 

John Wesley, who conducted the funeral, claimed Mary's own 
illness helped her. "Yes," he said, his small, beautifully proportioned 
features serene, "she would probably be quite lost in grief if God 
hadn't diverted her from it by the pain of a violent rheumatism." 

Heather, standing near the foot of the grave, weeping, decided 
that John was woefully ignorant of the human heart. It was to be 
hoped that time and experience would bring him more light. 

That night Heather cried long and hard. She cried for Mary, 
but she also cried for herself. She was now terribly frightened that 
Bart was seriously angry with her. He had made no move to see 
her or tell her good-by, yet as she knew, he was shoving off at one 
o'clock to take James Oglethorpe, Henry and a few other men for 
a farewell breakfast at Thomas Causton's new country place, Ox- 
stead, on St. Augustine creek, and from there he would sail to 
Charles Town and from there, no doubt, directly back to Frederica. 
It might be weeks before she saw him again or months. 

Sitting on her crossed legs in the middle of the bed, she rocked 
back and forth, weeping like a person without hope. Every inch 
of her ached. Her loins ached, her stomach ached, and her heart 
felt swollen and hard like a giant boil that has not yet come to a 
head. Oh, if Dr. Tailfer could only cut her open and lance it; or, 
better yet, cut it out. She didn't need it. She didn't want it. She had 
rather die than go on living without Bart. Wildly she sobbed until, 
sick with exhaustion and pain, she fell into a fitful sleep. 

The following weeks she struggled to immerse herself in Jason's 
and Truly's problems and Bobby's innumerable activities. She told 
berself that Bart's anger couldn't continue forever. If he loved her 
as she loved him he would have to come back to her, say he was 
sorry and ask her forgiveness. If she could only live through the 
next day then the next then the next. . . . 

With the winter rains setting it, Jason spent a goodly number of 
niights planning his crops for the coming spring and she sat on a 
jtool at his feet. He wanted to try other crops besides corn. "It ap- 
Dears to me that corn is a very risky crop," he argued one evening, 
iis legs crossed and one foot bobbing, as it often did when he was 

122 



thinking or was agitated. "Even the most laborious man can culti- 
vate only two acres in a year and not all of that produces because 
some is bound to be shaded by trees and some eaten by vermin and 
animals. But say for argument's sake it all produces, the most he can 
expect in a good season is twenty bushels and the common, uni- 
versal yield is fifteen," 

"And in a bad season?*' asked Truly tartly. 

"I was coming to that." Jason's voice was brusque; he disliked 
being interrupted. "In a bad season, nothing." 

"Well, pray bear that in mind," Truly said as if she were laying 
down an order. 

Jason uncrossed his legs, leaned forward and gestured with his 
open hand turned sideways. "I'm not talking now about the bad 
season, Tm talking about the good season that yields twenty 
bushels. A family such as mine can readily consume twenty bushels 
and so there is none to sell for cash with which to buy tools, 
clothes and other necessaries." 

"That is exactly why it behooves you to return to accounting/' 
Truly said, laying down her knitting, the better to argue. 

But Jason passed over the remark. "In my opinion, grapes offer 
the best opportunity for a steady income, And not only for me, but 
for every planter in this Province." His hand seesawed up and 
down. "I'm planning to write the Trustees for some slips right 
away." 

"Do you expect them to send them to you?" questioned Heather 
in tones that implied plainly she did not. 

"Yea, if they're not too taken up with other matters/' 

"Exactly!" And Heather's voice rang with bitter triumph. 

Jason also wrote to St. Augustine, New York, Philadelphia, and 
New England for seed. He decided to experiment with almonds, 
currants, raisins, limes, lemons, oranges, olives and peppers. 

"Dr. Tailfer says peppers are valuable in physic," Jason explained. 
"I hope to make some money selling them to Savannah's and 
Charles Town's apothecary shops." 

Jason was also interested these gray, slow-moving weeks at least 
they were gray and slow-moving to Heather, so she thought they 
must be for everybody in building a hut on the Lot directly behind 
the Forsyths' for the children of a carpenter, Tom Milledge, and his 

123 



wife, Elizabeth, who had died during the first summer's epidemic, 
leaving an eleven-year-old son, John, to care for Ms younger sister, 
Sarah, his still-younger brother, Richard, and an infant who sur- 
vived his parents by only a few months. 

John Milledge had been deeded the town lot that his father had 
drawn, which was directly behind the Forsyths* house, and he and 
Sarah and Richard had spent many hours clearing it of underbrush, 
and now Jason and a few other friends built a small hut upon it. 
Bobby watched them with excitement. "All the time now 111 have 
somebody to play with," he boasted. 

When it was finished, Heather worked with Bobby and the Mil- 
ledge children to furnish it. They gathered moss and stuffed it into 
ticking for pallets; they made chairs of old casks that they begged 
from Thomas Causton; they nailed planks to the kitchen wall for 
a table and even laid bricks for the fireplace. 

Then, at the end of these labors, Heather took to her bed with a 
fever, and while she was ill Bart returned to Savannah for the first 
time since James Oglethorpe had left for England. 

Swinging ashore at the foot of the Bluff, he raised his head to 
stare at that gray line of land against the blue of the sky, thrust 
his thick shoulders back and flexed his muscles to relax them after 
the long hours at the rudder. 

"Hallo, Captain," a lively voice shouted from the top of the stairs. 

Bart, looking in the direction from which the voice came, saw 

Joseph Fitzwalter, the superintendent of the Garden, ragged and 

barefoot like the group of loafers around him. "How be you, 

Joseph?" he shouted back. 

"Tolerably well, thank you." He held two fingers to his nose and 
snorted the contents out upon the ground. "Have the Spaniards 
.attacked Frederica yet?" 

"What's that you say?" Bart bawled, stopping in mid-air his hand 
that was about to throw a towline to a boatman on the shore. 
"I asked if the Spaniards had attacked Frederica?" 
"Hell, no!" In amazement Bart stared at Joseph and the dirty 
-mob around him. "Why do you ask? Did you hear they had?" 

"No," yelled a stooped young fellow, whose white hairless chest 
;gleamed like a fish's belly between the slits of his shirt, "but His 
124 



Honor" the voice was sarcastic "Mr. Causton received word from 
Charles Town this very morning, warning him the Spaniards were 
readying an attack." 

Bart didn't wait to hear more. Settling his cap more firmly on his 
head, he took the stairs two at a time and started across the Strand 
toward the Store. 

"Where is Mr. Causton?" Bart questioned the young clerk who 
was standing above an opened bag of corn seed that had already 
sprouted into a field o pale yellow-green shoots. 
"At the Courthouse, sir." 

Bart found not only Thomas Causton at the Courthouse, but 
Henry, Recorder Christie, Noble Jones, Dr. Tailfer, Robert Wil- 
liams and a few others. 

"I'm glad to see you, Captain," Thomas Causton boomed. "Do 
you bring news of the Spanish invasion?" 
"No, sir. We've received no word of it to the south. 5 * 
"That's strange. According to these dispatches from Charles 
Town" Thomas Causton fanned out one pudgy hand toward some 
papers on the table "the Spaniards are now arming at the Havana 
and they only wait for the Barlo Vento Squadron to strengthen 
their naval forces with two or three men-of-war before sailing for 
St. Augustine." 

His small, bright, black eyes, beneath their heavy lids, moved 
from face to face. "They will make a short stop at Augustine where 
they will augment their troops with six hundred regulars from the 
Florida fort and with as many volunteers as they can muster, and 
from thence they will proceed directly to Georgia." 
"God's blood!" Bart growled. 

For a long moment Thomas Causton sat humped over, breath- 
ing heavily, his eyes lowered, his fat index finger rolling a quill 
across the table. 

"What are we to do?" Dr. Tailfer rapped his walking stick 
sharply on the floor. "Even while we are sitting here on our asses 
talking they might be off our coast." His reddish-brown eyes 
were feverish with excitement and fear and both his hands worked 
nervously about the gold-headed knob of the cane. "Do you think 
they will sail directly up to Savannah?" he asked one and all. 

125 



" 'Tis my opinion for what it is worth," spoke up Robert in a 
voice that proclaimed he considered it of the utmost worth,, "they 
will disembark at Thunderbolt and march across land." 

Henry cast out one limp arm. "In that case, we being more fa- 
miliar with the land might be hable to beat 'em off." 

"If they be beat off," Noble Jones declared emphatically, "it will 
take cunning rather than manpower." 

"Yea, we're monstrously weak when it comes to manpower/' 
Thomas Causton agreed, shaking his huge head dolefully. "Of 
course now there might be some help from South Carolina. Lieu- 
tenant Governor Broughton informs me in these dispatches that he 
himself is coming down to assist in our defense, but I don't think 
we should count too heavily on it. The lieutenant governor is old 
and has never distinguished himself for valor." 

"How many Englishmen do you reckon can be counted on?" 
Noble Jones asked, starting a long, heated argument. Thomas 
Causton figured that in the whole Colony there were, perhaps, 700 
men fit to bear arms; but Henry and Recorder Christie judged the 
number to be even smaller. 

Finally, it was agreed that the Magistrates' very first business 
should be a census of all the able-bodied people and, second, the 
erection of a fort upon the Bluff at the southeast corner of the town. 

Bart listened to these plans soberly; then excused himself to pre- 
pare for the journey back to Frederica. He wanted to return 
immediately to spread the alarm; but finding his crew dispersed 
and realizing that they needed some rest and relaxation, he 
settled for the tide shortly after midnight. That left him a few 
spare hours too, and so, in the very late afternoon, he sauntered 
up Bull Street and then, scarcely conscious of how he arrived there, 
found himself in front of the Forsyths' doorway. And as he stood 
there staring soberly at it, Truly came out with a small rag rug in 
her hand. 

"Young man, Heather is ailing and cannot receive you," she an- 
nounced with cool aloofness the moment she saw him, not even 
waiting for him to speak. Heather had not confided to either her or 
Jason that she had quarreled with Bart, but Truly had sensed it 
from Heather's looks and actions and she had no intention of the 
rift being patched up if she could prevent it, 

126 



"Ailing, ma'am?" Bart repeated, his heart giving a queer lurch. 
"I'm that grieved to hear it, ma'am. Is she ... is she ... ?" 

"Seriously ill? I don't think so, She has just come down with 
that fever that is so prevalent in these parts." Truly shook the rug 
right in his face. "And now, sir, if you'll excuse me, I will return 
to my patient." 

"But ma'am" 

"May God give you a good night," Instantly the door slammed. 

Bart's temper flared at this curt dismissal. For some minutes he 
contemplated the door with narrowed eyes, one fist raised and 
shaking. Should he beat on it until that hussy came back and gave 
him more detailed news of Heather? Or should he simply kick it 
down and march in and find out for himself how she was? Only 
the tardy memory that he and Heather were through with each 
other held him back. 

Muttering obscene oaths, he turned and stalked back to the river 
front and Jenkins' Tavern. He would have some drinks of Geneva 
gin. 

Though the evening was young, the tavern was already well 
filled. The war talk had brought out practically all the male in- 
habitants. At a large round table in the center of the room sat 
Thomas Causton, Recorder Christie, Henry, and a squat, well-fed 
stranger, and at a nearby table were Dr. Tailfer and most of the 
members of the St. Andrews Club. 

As there were two vacant chairs at Thomas Causton's table, 
Bart swaggered casually in that direction. 

"Won't you join us, Captain?" the first bailiff roared pleas- 
antly. "We've a newcomer amongst us, Mr. Hugh Anderson, and 
I'm hoping he will give us some news of England. You know, 
Captain, how we all thirst for gossip from home." 

Bart acknowledged the introduction, seated himself and called 
for the barmaid, who this evening was Elizabeth, the wife of the 
owner, Edward Jenkins. She was ten years Edward's senior; an 
angular, twangy-voiced creature. Bart had just ordered his Geneva 
gin when Joseph, already drunk, pulled out the chair next to him 
and slumped into it. 

Thomas Causton fastened the little black slits of his eyes on 
Hugh Anderson and said, "Sir, haven't you some news for us?" 

127 



"Not any late news, I'm afraid, gentlemen. When I left England 
there had been no word of the Spaniards' intentions." 

"Is that correct, sir?" 

"Aye," 

'Then, perhaps, you'd like to comment on some other matter. 
For instance, sir, how does the Colony impress you?" 

"Well, I must confess I'm deeply shocked at the amount o rum, 
not to mention other spirituous liquors, that is consumed here, in 
spite of the law against it. Georgians seem to pay less attention to 
the law than we Englishmen did to that act passed by Parliament 
last year to boost gin out of the common man's reach." 

"You mean the Englishmen ignored it?" Thomas Causton asked. 

"Well, I wouldn't say exactly that, but they got very busy trying 
to get it repealed. Some of the gin shops draped their signs with 
mourning and put dolls, which they named Madam Geneva, in 
coffins in their windows and some took the coffins and formed fu- 
neral processions and paraded through the streets. One mob got so 
out of hand one day it surrounded Queen Caroline's coach when 
she was returning from London to Kingston and screamed fu- 
riously, 'No gin, no King.' " 

"Ye gads 3 " Thomas Causton said, grunting, "What action did 
Her Majesty take?" 

"She put her head out of the window and informed them right 
meekly if they had patience till the next session of Parliament they 
should have again both their gin and their King." 

"What did those remarks mean, sir," asked Bart, enunciating 
every word slowly and distinctly, "about gin and the King?" 

"Oddsfish! Hasn't that scandal reached these shores, yet?" 

"Yes, sir," Thomas Causton answered promptly, "but Captain 
Galloway has been absent from these parts so, no doubt, missed it." 

"If you don't object to hearing it again,, gentlemen?" And the 
stranger bowed his head to everybody except Joseph, who some time 
before had laid his right cheek on the table and gone to sleep. 

" 'Twill be a pleasure, sir." 

In words wrung of every drop of zest, for apparently the story 
was nothing for an Englishman to gloat about, he explained that 
the King at that time was living abroad in Hanover with his 
mistress, Madam Valmont, a married woman. 

128 



"Some people say the King paid the husband fifty thousand 
pounds to resign her up and quit all claim to her, but that some 
time after that the King surprised him in bed with her, which, as 
you gentlemen can readily comprehend, incensed him." 

"Damme, yes!" Bart agreed vehemently. 

"Other people said that she poxed him, her husband having 
played on the King the same trick that the Scotch Earl of Southesk 
played on King James, you recall, under similar circumstances." 

"Ye gads!" Thomas Causton's small eyes were as round and pol- 
ished as the muzzles of a rifle. 

"Still others said that the lady insisted on fifty thousand pounds 
for herself besides what her husband received." 

"What a dastardly whoredom trick," Recorder Christie com- 
mented, his weak lid falling this time in an unmistakable wink. 
"I've yet to see the slut I'd pay a hundred thousand pounds to lay 
not even if I lay her on the hour." 

"The situation worsened last fall," Hugh Anderson continued 
with dignity, not seeming to relish the levity of the Recorder. "The 
London merchants protested and, I might add, right boisterously 
too, that their trade was being ruined by His Majesty staying away 
so long and spending the English money abroad. One even damned 
the King to my face, arguing that if the King insisted on having a 
whore, then why didn't he take an English one and stay at home? 
And he had something there. There are enough of them in Lon- 
don, God knows, to be had much cheaper." 

"Your mouth's not frozen," Joseph exclaimed, waking just in 
time to catch the last remark. 

"How would you say the Queen stands up under this treat- 
ment?" Thomas Causton rumbled. 

"I'd venture not at all happily, sir, though of course you under- 
stand, I only know what those of better fashion tell me. All fall, 
whenever a packet arrived from Hanover, she fell into hysteric 
fits and finally she wrote the King a very pathetic letter, acquaint- 
ing him with the daily increase of dissatisfaction and saying that if 
he did not return she didn't know what the issue might be. She 
even went so far as to tell the King if nothing was agreeable to him 
in England, she wished he would bring over that person who would 
make it so." 

129 



"Damned white of her I'd say," Thomas Causton said, rolling 
the fleshy tip of his nose around and calling for the barmaid to 
bring him a pipe and everybody else another round of drinks, 
which reminded Recorder Christie that they had never heard the 
outcome of the act against gin. 

"The people, of course, got their way," Hugh Anderson an- 
swered. "I thought you understood that. Instead of ordering gin, 
they ordered Sangree, or Cuckold's Comfort, or Bob, or Make 
Shift, or the Last Shift, or the Ladies' Delight or Chocolate or 
Grapewater, or " 

Bellows of appreciative laughter interrupted the list of substi- 
tutes. When they died down, Thomas Causton remarked, "You can 
rely on the people getting around any law they don't like. It has 
been the same here. It has proven absolutely impossible to enforce 
the rum act here. No jury will convict." 

The visitor nodded his head emphatically. "Why in London in no 
time the sellers of gin were just as audacious as before. The stalls 
on the street corners reopened and the distillers went full tilt 
again." 

Silence fell around the table as the listeners digested this last 
morsel of news from home. Finally, however, Recorder Christie 
suggested that everybody have a Cuckold's Comfort to finish off 
the evening. "And you, sir," he said, turning to the bringer of such 
titillating tidings, "should have a Double Dabber." 

The mention of a Double Dabber for the stranger and none for 
him saddened Bart inexpressibly. Why should this newcomer have 
an extra-large drink? Had he quarreled with his lass who was 
ill? Did he have to return to an empty boat and an empty bunk? 
Bart felt so sorry for himself, he had to blast out the sympathetic 
moisture that gathered in his nose. 

For some seconds Mr. Causton's little eyes rested upon him. His 
big, loose-jo wled face was puzzled; he pushed out his lower lip with 
the long upper one and flipped it with his index finger. "What 
occasions such unhappiness, Captain?" 

"Why I'm not unhappy, sir; just troubled over . . . er . . . er 
. . . the coming of the Spaniards. At this very moment I should 
be on my way to Frederica." He pushed back his chair and strug- 
gled to his feet; fished out his money pouch and stacked a small 

130 



pile o coins on the table to cover his gin bill; then, bowing his 
flushed, handsome head slightly, he said rather pompously, "I bid 
you, Mr. Causton, and all you gentlemen, a good night's rest," and 
walked stiffly and very carefully to the door. 



131 



II 



HEATHER'S illness continued much longer than Truly ex- 
pected and her fever ran so high she was delirious for many weeks; 
but finally in midsummer she regained consciousness and began 
slowly to improve. However, she did not look like herself. Her 
wheat-colored hair had fallen completely out; her skin was sallow 
instead of its healthy golden brown and her big eyes seemed to fill 
the whole upper half of her face. 

The first day that Truly allowed her to have a looking glass. 
Heather gave one quick glance at herself and burst into tears. "I 
never was beautiful," she wailed, "but now I'm a fright, a terrible 
fright. No hair, no cheeks, no complexion." 

"Heather, don't talk foolishness," Truly said sternly. 

Heather sucked in her sunken cheeks. "Oh, I'm so ugly," she 
sobbed. "I wager I'm the ugliest girl that ever lived." 

"But you won't stay ugly. In a few weeks you'll be pretty as a 
picture. Your hair will grow out even thicker and curlier than 
ever. Dr. Tailfer says it almost always does after a long fever. And 
I'm going to fatten you up if I have to steal the food from the 
Store." 

"I don't understand how I could have been so ill when I've always 
been the healthiest person in the world. Just think of it, Mama, I've 
lost months out of my life. Why 'twas spring when I took sick and 
now 'tis summer." She hesitated, trying to get hold of herself so she 
could ask the question she had been longing to ask from the mo- 
ment she'd regained consciousness. "Mama, has . . . has Bart Cal- 
loway inquired after me?" 

"Once, as he was passing by," said Truly, a quick look of dis- 
pleasure sharpening her ruddy face, "but, of course, I couldn't give 
him leave to see you. Not that he asked, you understand." 
132 



"Did he appear . . . appear troubled when you acquainted him 
with my illness?" 

"Not that I observed. He's not the kind to trouble over anybody's 
illness other than his own." 

"Did you tell him, Mama, how sick I was?" 

"No. Why should I have? You were not so sick when he showed 
his face." 

Heather turned away from her mother and shut her eyes to hold 
back the tears; but Truly, as if she did not notice her withdrawal, 
began to talk animatedly on a new subject. "There have been many 
happenings, my child, of great consequence whilst you were ill. 
In the early days of your fever we had a terrible fright when word 
reached us that the Spaniards were readying a force to attack us." 

"Did they attack?" Heather murmured politely, for she was sure 
she already knew the answer. 

"Certainly not." Truly tossed her head impatiently. "You and I 
wouldn't be here a-gossiping if they had." 

"As you know, Mama, I've never believed they were going to 
attack." 

"Well, I'm not as sure of that as I once was. During your illness 
we heard Spain was so outraged with His Excellency, Don Fran- 
cisco de Moral Sanchez, the governor of St. Augustine, remember, 
who agreed to the first treaty with Mr. Oglethorpe, that they or- 
dered him put in chains and sent back to Madrid to be hung and 
a new governor has arrived from the Havana to take his place." 
Truly slapped at a mosquito on her forehead. "For land's sake, I 
thought the weather had been too dry for mosquitoes, but they 
must live no matter what else does." 

Heather sighed dispiritedly. This talk about the Spaniards seemed 
of less importance than ever. Where was Bart? Oh, where, where, 
where was Bart? Had he forgotten her entirely? Or did he remem- 
ber her now and then, but with anger? Or hate? Or, worse still, 
with indifference? 

" 'Tis reported Mr. Oglethorpe has been very busy in London 
about the Colony's defense," Truly went on in a lively fashion. 
"Almost every ship has brought news of his activities. He asked 
Parliament for thirty thousand pounds. He said that sum was 
proper if Parliament was serious about Georgia's safety. And he 

133 



talked to Queen Caroline and to young Mr. Horace Walpole, who 
'tis said listened very favorably and promised to use his influence 
with his brother, Sir Robert, the prime minister ." 

Heather curled up in a knot, trying to ease the aching weariness 
in her bones and mind. 

"The most recent dispatch that's arrived says Mr. Oglethorpe will 
shortly come over with a regiment of foot and a commission of 
captain general o both Georgia and Carolina." 

Heather's body stiffened. That seemed a very foolish thing for 
Mr. Oglethorpe to do. Wouldn't the presence of a new regiment 
of foot tend to make the Florida Spaniards suspicious? Would 
they believe he wanted to live with them in peace if he was build- 
ing up an armed force next door? And why should he have a 
commission of captain general if he only desired to be the founder 
of a peaceful province? Wouldn't it sound better to Spanish ears 
to call him "the Father of Georgia" rather than "general"? She 
tried it in her mind, "General Oglethorpe." Oh, 'twas formidable 
and forbidding. And wouldn't it be much more formidable and 
forbidding to the Spanish dons? 

Slowly Heather's strength returned, but the heat of that summer 
was so intense she went to the Lot only a half-dozen times and then 
returned heartsick and completely spent. The ground was powdery 
dry there hadn't been a rain since early spring and the few rows 
of corn that Jason, Truly and Tim had been able to get in in spite 
of the Spanish alarm were stunted and brown. No ears were filling 
out; the yellow kernels scattered along the base of the cobs were 
shriveled and run over with tiny black insects. There would be no 
harvest at all. The Forsyths and all the other settlers would have to 
depend entirely upon the allotments of meal and salt pork from the 
Store and what fish they could catch in the river. 

Fortunately the grapevine slips that Jason had requested from the 
Trustees were still in Portugal or some other foreign land, for they 
would have never survived that summer in Georgia. Nor would the 
other seeds he had ordered and never received. Even the ponds in 
the swamps dried up and water for the cows had to be hauled from 
the town well. 

The rumblings of discontent rolled daily, but in the late fall the 
arrival of a very dignified, important-looking old gentleman, by the 

134 



name of Colonel William Stephens, and his son Thomas, took the 
colonists' minds temporarily off their woes. The facts of their lives 
were recounted in the taverns, in the shops, on the water front and 
in the kitchens. 

"Colonel Stephens and his son are prime gentlemen," Truly de- 
clared again and again, her voice practically a crow as if she herself 
were responsible for this fact. 

In truth, Colonel Stephens had been born of a most distinguished 
family on the Isle of Wight sixty-seven years before, but they were 
people of little wealth. Nevertheless, he received the education of a 
young English nobleman: the classics, fencing and riding. He 
attended King's College at Cambridge, married a very beautiful 
woman and served in Parliament from the town of Newport for 
several years. Then in a manner that no one in Savannah was clear 
about, though Jason was of the opinion that the colonel's being a 
Tory had something to do with it, he lost his seat and what little 
fortune he did have. 

In 1735 he was sent to Carolina to survey a barony of land and 
while there he met James Oglethorpe, traveled back to England 
with him and succeeded in having himself appointed Secretary to 
the Trust of Georgia. With the position went 500 acres of land with 
the understanding that he must cultivate 200 immediately and the 
remaining in sixteen years. In turn, he agreed to serve without fail 
the Trustees for 100 pounds a year for six years and, in case he 
died before this time was up, Thomas, his third son, was to take his 
place. 

When Heather was fully recovered, her complexion a warm, rich 
tan again and the top of her head a gold mop of short curls, Truly 
invited Colonel Stephens and Thomas to Sunday dinner. She had 
planned to have John Wesley also; but after a terrible row with 
Thomas Causton and some of his other parishioners he had left 
quite unexpectedly for England. 

Colonel Stephens was a man of large stature, but lean almost to 
the point of emaciation. His brow was deep and shiny red as if he 
had just been scrubbed with a brush, and it bulged over morning- 
glory-blue eyes; and his cheeks were concave and deeply eroded. He 
was homely in an arresting, distinctive fashion. His manner, how- 
ever, was even more arresting than his looks. He was actually gar- 

135 



rulous; but he drawled in a flat, slightly nasal voice, and he ges- 
tured frequently, though slowly and deliberately, in truth, almost 
wearily. 

Thomas, too, had this deliberate way about him. He also was tall 
and thin, but not so thin as his father, and his face was long and 
narrow without being cadaverous. He had large, soft brown eyes; 
long, curly brown lashes; a big, well-shaped nose; full, smooth lips 
and very white skin. Indeed, he would have been too beautiful for 
a man if one of his high cheekbones hadn't been scarred by a half- 
dozen pockmarks. 

"We are deeply honored, sir, to have the Secretary of the Colony 
and his son break bread with us," said Jason, bowing from the 

waist. 

"You elevate me, my dear Mr. Forsyth, beyond my rightful posi- 
tion/' Colonel Stephens answered with the merest suggestion of a 
shrug. "There is a secretary with an office and there is a secretary 
without an office. My business, sir, is simply to write to the Trustees 
of things as they occur and then the Trustees will do as they think 

fit/' 

There was certainly no false pride about the man, thought 
Heather. Then tilting her head and glancing at Thomas she won- 
dered if the same could be said about him. Yes, she decided after a 
moment. In spite of his good looks, he seemed a gentle, shy, un- 
spoiled young man. 

Thomas, feeling her eyes upon him, turned his full upon her and 
smiled. A bit self-conscious, Heather ran her hand nervously 
through her short curls. 

"Have seats, won't you?" asked Jason, gesturing toward his own 
beloved wing chair and one of the rush-bottom kitchen chairs. 

With a quiet ease, Colonel Stephens moved over to the wing 
chair, settled himself deeply in it, crossed his skinny gray-stock- 
inged legs, took out a white clay pipe, packed it with tobacco, lit 
it from the burning logs in the fireplace and launched into talk 
about James Oglethorpe's activities in London. Thomas stood un- 
decidedly for a moment, looking again at Heather; then quickly 
sat down in the straight chair. 

"I personally doubt that Mr. Oglethorpe will return hither until 
after the rising of the ensuing sessions of Parliament," Colonel 

136 



Stephens began as if he knew what was uppermost in everyone's 
mind. "Directly before I left England he was having a struggle 
with Sir Robert Walpole over the renewed complaints of the Span- 
ish against Georgia. The Spanish agent, Mr. Fitzgerald, had been 
with Sir Robert to inform him that he had a memorial to deliver 
to him, the purport of which was to warn the English that for some 
years they had been encroaching on the Spanish dominions; but 
now that His Catholic Majesty found himself in good condition, 
he was resolved to annex all the lands in America that formerly 
belonged to him and his predecessors." 

"More blow and bluff, I dare say," Jason suggested, and Heather 
gave him an approving smile. 

"I wouldn't be so sure about that, sir," Colonel Stephens an- 
swered, his blue eyes very bright and lively in sharp contrast to the 
deliberateness of his speech. "The memorial further set out, accord- 
ing to Mr. Fitzgerald, that since His Catholic Majesty had given 
himself up much to God's service, he was desirous to see his own 
dominions restored to him without Christian bloodshed, but, if 
otherwise, the bloodshed would not lie at his door. Either England 
would remove the Georgia settlers by fair means or his governors 
would be obliged to move them by force." 

All three Forsyths drew in their breaths sharply. 

"And, finally, the memorial declared that if Great Britain sent 
troops to Georgia and, particularly, if Mr. Oglethorpe commanded 
them, His Catholic Majesty would take k for a declaration of war." 

"Oh, I've been afraid of that!" Heather exclaimed, clasping her 
hands. 

Colonel Stephens turned and gave her a sharp look and then, 
deciding he had misunderstood her, went on, "Of course, you must 
bear in mind that when the memorial was framed, the Spanish 
government was fully aware that it was already settled that Mr. 
Oglethorpe was to come over with a regiment." 

Heather kept her mouth shut, though she found it difficult. 

"Well, to go back to Sir Robert," Colonel Stephens continued, 
"he was so terrified of Spain falling out with England that he pro- 
posed dropping the design of sending Mr. Oglethorpe to Georgia 
with a regiment and, in lieu thereof, giving him a regiment in 
England; at which Mr. Oglethorpe rightly fired and asked Sir 

137 



Robert what man he took him to be to suppose he would be the 
instrument of carrying over three thousand souls to Georgia and 
then abandoning them to the Spanish for the consideration of a 
regimental command in England." 

This was too much for Heather. "But Mr. Oglethorpe wouldn't 
be abandoning them to the Spanish," she said excitedly. "If he 
didn't return with the Regiment then the Spaniards would leave 
Georgia alone." She rubbed her index finger furiously beneath her 
nose. "The memorial as much as says so.*' 

Both the colonels' eyes fixed upon her interestedly, but only 
Colonel Stephens spoke. "Well, not exactly, miss, The memorial 
does set out that the Spanish would take Mr. Oglethorpe's coming 
with a regiment as a declaration of war; but it doesn't say that if 
he doesn't come they will abandon their plans for removing the 
Georgia colonists." 

Heather walked with quick, restless steps to the mantelpiece, 
picked up a taper from a cup there and began to tear it to bits with 
her small, agile fingers. 

From beneath his overhanging brow, Colonel Stephens watched 
her for a moment. She was a bright, warmhearted, spirited girl, 
he decided; then, turning back to Jason and Truly, addressed him- 
self to them. "I must tell you, Mr. Oglethorpe put Georgia's future 
squarely up to Sir Robert. Mincing no words, he said, *I desire to 
know right now whether Georgia is to be given up, yea or nay. 
If so, then it is only kind and just to let the Trustees know it at 
once so they might write immediately over to the inhabitants to 
retire and save themselves in time.' " 

"And pray, sir, what answer did Sir Robert make to that?" Jason 
asked. 

A gleam of satisfaction stirred in Colonel Stephens' eyes, "He 
backed off. He said he did not see the necessity of that." 

For a full minute then the old gentleman lay back quietly in his 
chair, his lids half closed, drawing coaxij%ly on his almost cold 
pipe. 

Finally Jason broke the silence. "Were there any further develop- 
ments, sir?" 

Colonel Stephens waved the hand with the pipe in a belittling 

138 



gesture. "Nothing more, except I heard that on August eighteenth, 
after a twelve-hour debate, the Cabinet Council voted to disregard 
the memorial." 

Truly excused herself to get dinner on the table and quickly 
Heather followed her. Not speaking, but working together as if by 
ear, they scraped some yellow sweet potatoes, which they had first 
learned about from the settlers of South Carolina, out of the ashes; 
slid the young shoat that Jason had bought from Mary Musgrove's 
hog crawl off the spit into a huge pewter platter, took up the 
greens and sliced the loaf bread. 

"I'm sure 'tis not up to what Colonel Stephens is accustomed,*' 
Truly said, sighing. "I do wish we could have afforded another 
kind of meat or fowl.** 

"Oh, Mama, 'tis a delicious dinner," Heather protested and im- 
pulsively rushed to Truly's side and hugged her. "A perfectly deli- 
cious dinner!" 

Colonel Stephens also proclaimed it so when everybody was 
seated at the table. In fact he said it was too rich for the blood of an 
old man. He explained he ate very abstemiously. For breakfast he 
had only two dishes and one of them coffee. For dinner he had 
something plain and for supper he ate nothing; only a pipe of 
tobacco and a draught of ale just before he went to bed. 

"Often when I see others enjoying themselves at trencherwork," 
he observed, "I wish I could live entirely without it." Then with a 
twinkle he drawled, "I'm temperate in all things except the use of 
tobacco. Besides a pipe early in the morning and the last thing every 
night, I smoke as many in the day as I can find the time for, but 
without a drop of liquor. I can drink and drink hard when the 
occasion calls for it and sit up late; neither, though, is my choice. 
I like just a little water, brown sugar and rum now and then and I 
try to be abed by nine o'clock." 

So, he refused the succulent pork and had only a bowl of greens 
and a potato, but Thomas accepted everything that Heather heaped 
on his bowl, smiling gratefully up into her fire-flushed face and 
murmuring, "Thank you, ma'am." Heather was pleased at his evi- 
dent enjoyment of the meal and had to restrain herself from patting 
him lightly on the shoulder and saying, "Good boy, you've scraped 

139 



your platter clean," as she would have done Bobby if he hadn't 
been spending the weekend at the Lot with Timothy in the little 
hut Timothy had built for tools, seed and his own pallet. 

No one talked, however, until Colonel Stephens, having eaten 
the last tuft of yellow flesh from the blackish skin of the potato, 
looked up and ran his eyes around the table, inviting questions. 

"I'm desirous, sir, o hearing your impressions of the Colony," 
said Jason. 

"Tm afraid, Mr, Forsyth, it is too early for me to entertain any 
worth-while opinions," he answered, shoving back his chair. "Still 
I believe I can honestly say I'm shocked at the widespread discon- 
tent Pve found here. Just shortly after I arrived, whilst I was spend- 
ing a leisure hour with Mr. Causton, Recorder Christie and Mr, 
Anderson, I was approached by a Mr, Williams who began to lay 
open his mind pretty freely concerning the difficulties that the 
inhabitants lay under because they are not allowed to own their 
own lands and will them to females and are not permitted the use 
of Negroes." 

The colonel reached for his mug of beer, drained it and then 
asked sharply, "Do you know what he finally said? He said and 
with considerable vehemence, mark you that he was resolved, as 
were a great many others, to leave the Colony unless some remedy 
could be found before they were all ruined." 

"I'm not at all surprised," said Jason. "Such talk has been current 
now for many months, and I might add, sir, with good reason, too." 

"And I can understand it," said Thomas, speaking out for the 
first time. "Especially the need for Negroes. The servant problem 
is extremely worrisome." 

"Yea, my son, you're quite correct about the servant problem," 
agreed Colonel Stephens. "The white servants here are a vile crew, 
which is not surprising when you consider whence they sprang." 
He bracketed the corners of his mouth with his thumb and index 
finger, then pulled the skin down to make a frugal roll on his jut- 
ting chin. " 'Tis difficult to say what is their worst fault their lazi- 
ness, their drinking or their stealing, but God knows their laziness 
is the limit when their work will not pay for the cost of their food 
and clothing. 

"My first two women servants turned out to be, if you ladies will 
140 



pardon my language, errant prostitutes, and the next one, which I 
hired here by the month, proved so forward with child that I 
scarcely had time to send her home and hire a midwife. At present 
I'm perfectly destitute of any house help." 

Heather looked at him sympathetically and wished she knew him 
well enough to offer her services. 

"Papa, tell them about Anthony Binks," prompted Thomas and 
turned his soft brown eyes on Heather to watch her reaction to the 
story. 

Colonel Stephens nodded his skull-like head. "Yea, I did have a 
fellow named Anthony Binks, recommended to me by a lady at 
Kensington, who proved himself an egregious sot. He had been 
here no time afore he was drinking rum in private. And, mind you, 
he was using my stores to pay for it. I finally sent him to Mr. 
Horton at Frederica to work on the fort, digging and wheeling." 

Slowly he pocketed his pipe, which had been resting on the table 
beside his plate, and rose to his feet to make his adieus. Thomas 
quickly got up and walked behind him, murmuring the same polite 
phrases of appreciation until he reached Heather. Then, almost in 
a whisper, he asked, "May I have the honor of calling someday 
soon?" 

Lowering her lids to black out the intensity of his gaze, Heather 
answered, " 'Twould be my pleasure, sir.'* 



141 



XIII 



FROM that Sunday on, Thomas began to show Heather 
attention. During the weeks of midwinter he stopped by in the 
evenings to chat with her, Jason and Truly about the spring plant- 
ing and during February, when the days grew warmer and sunnier 
and she went to the Lot, he walked part way with her. Fortunately 
for his courting, the Stephens' lot was in the same general direction 
as the Forsyths' and he could have her company for several miles. 

Heather liked being with him. His large, gentle brown eyes fixed 
on her face so attentively and admiringly when she talked; his 
quick, responsive smiles to all her little witticisms, no matter how 
weak; his long, tapering, graceful fingers reaching out eagerly for 
her hand or arm whenever there was a muddy bog, a fallen tree 
trunk, a trickling stream, or a protruding root in the path touched 
her deeply. More and more frequently she allowed her hand to 
remain in his after the obstacle was past. 

The woods those mornings were at their loveliest. The thickets of 
white-blooming plum frothed up like fountains; jasmine vines, 
strung with their narrow, bright green leaves and small, sweet- 
smelling, yellow trumpets, curled in tangled masses about the 
brown boles of the pines; the branches of the water maples dripped 
with red buds; and here and there young shoots of peach trees 
swayed on tiptoe in starched ruffles of brilliant pink. 

A small area of the Forsyths' lot was a satisfying sight, too. Jason 
was trying something new this spring; indeed he was always trying 
something new, hoping to find the right crop for the Georgia cli- 
mate and soil. In the winter he had sown an acre of wheat, which 
was already a bright splash of green, and now he was planting an 
acre of barley and oats and putting in more grapevine slips. 

Day after day Heather helped him with the slips. As Jason 
142 



hauled black muck from a nearby swamp, she spaded out a deep 
trough. Placing her small foot on the top edge of the spade, she 
shoved it into the soft sand, spooned it up and heaped it upon the 
ground; then repeated the process. For hours she spaded, the sun 
as hot as a heated fire poker between her shoulder blades and on the 
top of her bonneted head. As the trench slowly lengthened the 
muscles in her upper arms began to pain her, but still she spaded 
on. 

Finally, toward noon the trench was deep enough for a dozen 
shoots and so she left off digging and she and Jason began plant- 
ing. She sat flat on the rim of the trench, her legs spread wide in 
front of her, and held the slip upright while Jason shoveled the 
hunks of muck around it. When enough of this rich dirt was piled 
up to keep the plant upright, she worked with her hands, breaking 
up the lumps, mixing them with the sand she had dug out, and 
firming them snugly about the roots. And then she took the leather 
bucket she had brought from home, walked to a small honey- 
colored stream about a tenth of a mile away, lowered the bucket in 
sideways and then trudged back, and emptied the water very care- 
fully about the twig so as not to wash the dirt away. Then she 
spaded in more sand on top of the mulch close to the plant, for it 
was said the white brightness of the sand would throw aside the 
rays of the sun. Twelve times she repeated this painstaking routine 
until the trench was filled. Then the next day, she and Jason began 
it all over again. 

Yet no matter how hard she worked and no matter how often 
she saw Thomas, she still ached with loneliness for Bart. It 
mounted at times almost to a feeling of desperation. She had to see 
him; she simply had to or she would go stark, raving mad. All 
day and all night she was conscious of a throbbing, dull, heavy pain 
in her body. She would dig in the soft earth until every muscle was 
sore, but over and under all the sore muscles was this other deep- 
seated^ tormenting, weighing-down hurt. 

It was in late March, on the day of observance of Queen Caro- 
line's death, that Bart arrived once more in Savannah. 

The official news of Her Majesty 's death had reached the Colony 
much earlier, having been brought to Charles Town in the amaz- 

143 



ingly short time of seven weeks by a ship captain, who had heard 
it at Cowes as he was ready to sail but temporarily wind-bound. 
No ceremony, though, had followed the melancholy tidings. As 
Thomas Causton said frankly, he and the other Magistrates were 
not acquainted with what was expected of them as none of them, 
very naturally, had been in office when a queen died. Yet, they felt 
some notice was obligatory. Queen Caroline had been a real friend 
to James Oglethorpe and to the Province. Indeed, he and the other 
Magistrates feared that her death would be a great loss to Georgia. 

In this state of uncertainty over two months went by and then 
it was decided to have the Haw\ fire off at Frederica as many guns 
as the Queen was old and the Battery at Savannah follow three days 
later with a similar salute. 

As the guns boomed, Bart's face was properly calm, but he was 
restless inside. For the past months, except for a couple of hurried 
trips to Savannah and Charles Town, he had patrolled off the coast 
of St. Simons, keeping his eyes alert for Spanish galleons, and now 
he was anxious for some excitement. Just what kind he wasn't sure, 
and he wouldn't let his mind dwell upon it. Let come what would 
was his attitude. There was a chance he might accidentally see 
Heather after all Savannah was a small place and if he did . . , 
He shrugged his big shoulders impatiently. Damme, when would 
he get through his thick skull that he had no further interest in 
that direction? 

However, as soon as the memorial observance was over and he 
had had biscuits and brandy at the Guardhouse with a few of the 
town's citizens, lie started almost at a run up Drayton Street toward 
Duke; but stopped abruptly and drew into the shadow of a small 
magnolia when he saw through the early evening dusk Heather and 
a man walking across the open space between Drayton and Aber- 
crombie streets. At first he didn't recognize the man; he had seen 
Thomas only once when he last came to Savannah Joseph Fitz- 
walter had pointed him out as the son of the new Secretary to the 
Trustees but as the two figures came nearer, he remembered 
him and felt a queer apprehension. 

Walking beside Thomas, Heather sensed that he was going to 
take her in his arms and kiss her. The knowledge didn't surprise 
her. She had realized for some time now that he was in love with 
144 



her; but she wasn't sure how she would react to nis love-maiang. 
She should welcome it, she told herself almost fiercely. His full red 
lips would be warm and velvety, she was sure, and his narrow 
hands, with their long, slimly tapered fingers, would be gentle. He 
was lonely, cut off from his friends in London, and she was lonely 
and deeply grateful for the many attentions he had shown her these 
past weeks. So if he wanted to kiss and caress her, why shouldn't 
she be glad of it? 

But when his arms went around her and his moist soft mouth 
opened on hers, she, after a long moment, involuntarily pulled 
away. "I'm sorry, Thomas dear," she said, her hand against his 
cheek, "but I can't do it. I don't have that kind of affection for you." 

His black brows came together and all the light seemed to fade 
from his eyes. "Are you still in love with that chap, Bart Galloway, 
that I've heard tittle-tattle of?" 

"Oh no!" Heather denied quickly, her hand leaving his cheek 
and flying to the base of her throat. "Bart Galloway and I are not 
even friends." 

Thomas' face cleared somewhat. "I judged that to be the case. 
Since coming here I have seen him once or twice about the town 
but never about Duke Street." 

A wave of pain struck her, leaving her trembling; but she man- 
aged to spread her lips in a very wide, set smile. Then with forced 
lightness she asked, "Why should you ? I mean nothing to him and 
he means nothing to me." 

Thomas stared at her intently as if tempted to say something 
further, but instead he slowly and caressingly slid his hand across 
her shoulders, eased it beneath her arm and propelled her toward 
home. 

As they moved on Bart, blind with rage, stumbled from beneath 
the overhanging branches of the magnolia and headed for Jenkins' 
Tavern. He felt no anger toward Thomas. If he had, he would have 
leaped across the road and slit his throat. Without once stopping 
to consider he no longer had the right to be angry with Heather, his 
fury centered on her. How dare she allow some other man to fondle 
her ? he stormed inwardly. How dare she do such a whorish thing ? 
How dare she? Hadn't she given herself to him? Hadn't her whole 
body, lit by the fire of his passion, burst into rolling, soaring flames? 

145 



Though he had never quite faced it openly, deep down inside he 
had always taken for granted that someday Heather would be his. 
Someday, when circumstances were different , . . someday, when 
she had grown a little older and wiser and he a little older and 
wiser, they would come together again and belong to one another. 
They were destined to be one, he had thought. It had never actually 
crossed his mind that she could love somebody else and yet here she 
was in another man's arms. 

Sobs crowded up into his throat. Why, she was no better than a 
taproom slut. How did he know she hadn't wrestled in the sand 
with this newcomer the same as she had with him? It hadn't taken 
him, Bart Galloway, long to lay her. What reason had he to believe 
it would take this Stephens fellow any longer? His jaws quivering, 
he turned into Jenkins' to make a night of it. 

The next morning when he waked his eyes were as crisscrossed 
with tiny red roots as if some miniature trees were planted in them 
and grew laterally through his brain, and he was still in a rage and 
completely oblivious to the fact that months before he had broken 
off his relationship with Heather. Christ Crucified, he would show 
her he wasn't a man to be cuckolded. He would walk right by her 
house and cut her dead. 

Heather was weeding the radishes and carrots in the kitchen 
garden when he turned into Duke Street and she saw him just as 
he reached the corner of the paling fence. Her body shaking like a 
dog coming out of water, she started forward to speak to him; but 
instantly he turned his back upon her, crossed the road and walked 
on. 

Clutching her stomach with both arms, she ran to her room, 
closed the door and bolted it. "I knew it was going to happen like 
this," she told herself, pacing up and down. "I knew when I went 
to bed with him afore we wed I would suffer for it. I knew he 
didn't love me as I loved him, so why should I cry about it now?" 

Yet, by slow degrees she became less reasonable and more angry. 
"Damnation to him!" she muttered. "Damnation to him!" She 
gritted her teeth, both hands clenched. "He's a cad. That's what he 
is a cad. A low-down, low-life cad." 

She walked over to the window and stared absently at the dis- 
tant sky. Low, distended, rain-colored clouds rolled there. They 
146 



wanted to weep too, she thought wryly. They were in an agony to 
weep, but something held them back. Were clouds proud? God 
only knew she wasn't. 

She got on the bed, sat upright on her crossed legs, as she had 
done the night Bart had left with James Oglethorpe for Charles 
Town, and rocked to and fro, crying until her head was water- 
logged and her amber-colored eyes were red as raw meat. Every 
inch of her hurt. How could her whole body, she wondered, even 
her thighs and her legs, understand that her heart was broken and 
hurt so excruciatingly too? 

The next day she pulled herself together and decided that work 
was the only answer for her unhappiness. As Jason was struggling 
to get a piece of land in readiness for Irish potatoes, she dug and 
spaded with him until her hands were blistered and she was almost 
as thin as when she first recovered from the fever. Alas, though, 
when the ground was ready there were no seed potatoes. Thomas 
Causton had thoughtlessly sent them all to Frederica. 

Then Jason turned to the stand-by crop, corn, but again no seed. 
"I did have some healthy-looking yellow seed corn," Thomas Caus- 
ton explained casually, poking out his lower lip with the shovel- 
shaped upper one, "but it went surprisingly fast. However, I expect 
to obtain a new supply on the next ship that anchors here." When 
the seed did arrive, it was a new variety, a wide, white seed. 

Though the Forsyths and a few other Savannahians cultivated 
their lands diligently these spring weeks, the majority stood on the 
street corners, spreading innumerable rumors, James Oglethorpe 
wasn't coming after all with a force of regular troops, they said; 
some attempt had been made to beat up volunteers for a regiment, 
but none would enlist to come to Georgia. They also said James 
Oglethorpe had his hands full in England explaining to a critical, 
questioning Parliament how the money it had appropriated for the 
Colony had been spent. 

Praying that the rumors pertaining to the regiment were true, 
Heather asked Colonel Stephens the source of them as she and 
Thomas walked with him toward their lots one morning. "Gad, 
ma'am, I wish I did know," he replied with vehemence. " 'Tis 
impossible to track down. If you ask a person how comes this news 
or from whence it is brought, he answers with a close whisper, 1 

147 



spoke with a gentleman, a particular friend o mine, one o an 
unquestionable character, who would be very cautious of reporting 
such things without unquestionable foundation, and he lately read 
it in a letter sent to a friend of his of like credit and the letter writer 
is a very eminent man; but his name is by no means to be used yet; 
the truth will appear soon enough/" Colonel Stephens shook his 
bony head slowly. "How these things get started is beyond me, 
ma'am, but I can assure you that they are wholly figments of the 
imagination and cannot possibly stand the touchstone of truth.'* 

This was of no assurance to Heather; instead, her spirits sank 
lower. With no Spanish alarms since spring, a year ago, it seemed 
to her more foolish than ever for Mr. Oglethorpe to appear at the 
head of a regular regiment. If the Spaniards had decided to live in 
peace with the Georgians and it certainly seemed that was the case 
then why, oh why should Mr. Oglethorpe arouse them by landing 
troops on their doorsteps? Let the sleeping Spaniards lie was her 
motto. 

Then abruptly her faith in this motto was somewhat shaken, for 
Thomas Causton received an express from two justices of the peace 
at Port Royal warning that the Spanish were finally loading their 
ships for the invasion. The justices enclosed two affidavits from the 
master and sailor of a sloop who testified that coming off the bar of 
St. Augustine a few days before they had seen three or four ships 
of considerable bulk, with a couple of sloops, lying at anchor there, 
and another ship of burden coming in out of the sea; thereupon they 
lay by and put out their British ensign, expecting to be answered as 
is common, but they received no answer of any kind. Nevertheless, 
they could see several boats from the town going aboard the ships 
which, all put together, gave them some apprehension of bad de- 
signs and so they made what speed they could into Port Royal to 
give the intelligence. 

Thomas Causton moved quickly. He sent a messenger to Darien 
and from there to the officers at all the southern settlements and 
forts and to Captain Gascoigne of the Haw\, advising them of the 
situation. Then he ordered the constables to beat the drum to arms 
to see how many settlers could be got together on a sudden alarm. 
Eighty men, properly accoutered, gathered within an hour's time. 
148 



A few evenings later there was another alarm, this one set off by 
Timothy. Breathing heavily with excitement and exertion, he stum- 
bled into the Forsyths' back door gasping that he had seen the 
enemy with his own eyes. "Whilst I was hilling up the corn this 
morning," he said, "four strange dark men, with black hair braided 
up and brung up under their hats, come suddenly upon me." 

His round, pink-cheeked face glowed with excitement and im- 
portance. "They be Spaniards I knowed right off and I begun to 
shake so terribly it was all I could do to stand up. One of 'em 
drawed his sword and started to run me through yes, indeed, run 
me through but 'tother one what spoke very broken English 
stopped 'im. He told 'im I be an old man and harmless.*' 

Timothy looked from face to face to relish his listeners' reactions, 
His bright little blue eyes were wet and triumphant. "Then they 
went inside the hut to rest theirselves out of the sun and left me 
to stand guard at the door. Yes, indeed, stand guard at the door. 
But after a hour and a half they left, walking along a path toward 
the water like they walked it often. Afore they left, though, they 
warned me not to tell a living soul that I seen 'em. They said if I 
did my life won't be worth a thruppence." 

"Holy cow, Tim!" breathed Bobby, hugging himself. 

"And that's why it has taken you all day to come here?" Jason 
asked quietly, though it was plain to see his temper was boiling 
close to the surface. 

"Yes, indeed, all day to come here." 

"You couldn't make up your mind to be brave any sooner?" 

"Indeed, sir, to be brave." 

"Have you seen anyone else?" 

"Anyone else? . . . Oh yes, sir, I passed Mr. Causton riding to 
his plantation and I told him all about it, sir, and he writ a note 
for me to give to Colonel Stephens." Timothy fished about in his 
pocket and came up with a badly wrinkled piece of scrap paper. 

"Well we'd better hustle over to Colonel Stephens right now," 
Jason said. 

"Colonel Stephens right now," Timothy agreed, but he was too 
delighted with his hour in the sun to leave immediately. "Those 
men be foreigners all right; that I know. They was all dressed alike 

149 



in black or, maybe, it wasn't black but sunip'n very dark-colored 
and one had a sword and a gun and a pistol." His glistening eyes 
batted rapidly. 

"Are you sure, Timothy?" Heather asked. She didn't believe for 
a minute the men were Spaniards, but she didn't know how to 
break down Timothy's story. 

"Yes ma'am, I'm indeed sure. There was no buckles on their 
shoes and straps fastened 'em. And" He scratched his matted 
head. 

"And what, Tim?" Bobby asked; but Jason cut off any further 
revelations. "Never mind/' he said. "We must get over to Colonel 
Stephens' immediately." 

Without being invited, Heather and Bobby tagged behind. 

Colonel Stephens didn't want to believe Timothy's story either. 
Again and again he questioned him on little details, trying to trip 
him up; then turned to Jason and asked what he thought about it. 

"Whether they were Spaniards or not, I can't say," Jason an- 
swered, "but I've usually found Timothy truthful except when he's 
drinking and, as you can perceive, sir, he hasn't been drinking 
today." 

Colonel Stephens stretched out his thin legs in front of him and 
lay on the end of his spine, regarding Timothy speculatively. 
Finally he straightened, his mind made up. "Well, Jason, I think 
the best thing to do is to double the guard tonight. Instead of one 
man patrolling alone at the usual distance from the next man, I 
suggest two men patrol side by side. Then at dawn tomorrow we 
will send out the constables and some others to see what they can 
discover." 

The constables and others discovered nothing; but the rumors 
and the anxiety of the timid settlers were not allayed until the 
arrival one May morning of Colonel James Cochran, the com- 
mander in charge of the advance contingent of James Oglethorpe's 
Regiment of Foot. The colonel had anchored the evening before at 
the mouth of the Savannah with three transports and supplies and, 
with his aides and other officers, made his way up to the town in 
one of the small auxiliary boats. 

On hearing the news while she was making the beds, Heather 
hurried to the Bluff to try to see with make-believe Spanish eyes 
150 



how awesome and threatening was the sight o regular troops. Yes, 
indeed, she decided after a minute of staring at them, they did look 
both awesome and threatening. They were wearing long, vivid red 
coats which had deep cuffs of grass green and linings of the same 
shade that showed where the hem turned back; white shirts with 
plain bands about the neck; white stockings, extending above the 
knees to meet the breeches, but held with garters below them, and 
extending down, like spats, over plain black slippers; and black 
cockade hats with trimmings of white atop their curled, powdered- 
wigged heads. 

Which one was Colonel Cochran, she wondered, and looking 
about the Bluff to find a friend, saw Anne, with Charles and Peter 
Tondee, standing a little to one side of the stewing group. No doubt 
Henry was in the midst of the officers, doing the honors in the 
absence of Thomas Causton, who was ailing at Oxstead. 

Sidling up to Anne and the boys, she asked, "Are you acquainted, 
Mistress Parker, with any of these newcomers?" 

"With only two that Henry pointed out to me," Anne answered. 
"That very busy, dandified officer over there at the top of the stairs 
is the lieutenant colonel and captain in command of the Regiment 
Colonel Cochran " 

Heather looked toward the stairs and saw an elegant figure with 
a wide silk sash draped over his right shoulder and a half -pike, 
fusil and sword hanging from his waist belt. 

"Come back here, Peter," Anne called to one of the Tondee boys 
who was edging up to the milling group. "Stay out of the way of 
the gents." Then turning back to Heather, she added, "The other 
one is the new parson who has come hither in the room, of John 
Wesley. He is George Whitefield." 

"Oh no!" Heather exclaimed. "Not the George Whitefield who 
everybody in England is talking about?" 

"The same," said Anne, widening her greenish-blue eyes excitedly 
and rapidly bobbing her head. "The very same! Henry says he was 
very ill on the trip over and had to be bled three times and blistered 
and vomited once." 

"The poor, poor man!" 

Heather gazed at George Whitefield with lively interest. His 
face was slender in its upper portions but puffed out along the jaws 



like those of a squirrel carrying nuts, and his eyes were a deep blue 
with a squint in the right one. 

"Why he's come to Georgia I can't imagine," Anne went on 
vehemently, her eyes still wide and glinting. "A. cousin of Henry's 
wrote us that he's only twenty-three, yet a multitude flock to hear 
him whenever he preaches. He wrote that they hang upon the rails 
of the churches, climb up the leads, and when the services are over, 
follow him down the streets. He predicted that someday he would 
rank as the greatest evangelist England ever produced. And now 
here he is in Georgia" She clasped her hands for a minute or two 
beneath her chin; then let them fall to the sloping base of her 
stomach. 

Bart was ordered back to Savannah to assist in the transference 
of the troops and supplies to St. Simons. He was thankful for an 
assignment that would keep his mind fully occupied. He would 
work every waking minute on the troops' transportation, he vowed; 
he wouldn't go near Duke Street. He wouldn't even go into the 
town unless it was absolutely necessary. He never wanted to see 
Heather again. 

He found on reporting to Colonel Cochran that it was not diffi- 
cult to live up to these resolutions. Many problems faced him. Only 
one of the three transports that made the crossing would proceed 
to the Altamaha, so most of the stores had to be transferred into 
private homes and the Trustees' warehouse in Savannah. Securing 
sufficient space for them was difficult. 

One item in particular gave Bart endless trouble. Colonel Coch- 
ran had brought twenty-seven pipes of red wine for the Regiment 
and forty of white for his own personal use and they had to be put 
in a fairly cool place. Finally, Bart arranged for a large cellar in 
the house of the pinder in charge of the Trustees' cattle. Painstak- 
ingly he moved the wine, stored it on its side and locked the doors. 
Then Colonel Cochran ordered him to turn the keys over to 
Thomas. The colonel explained that he had known Thomas in 
London and that Thomas had agreed to send the wine to him at 
Frederica as he needed it. Bart felt his body tense as he located 
Thomas at Mother Penrose's, introduced himself and handed over 

152 



the keys; but he had no premonition that this small act would play 
an important part in the Colony's future. 

Heather was aware that Bart was in Savannah; she had spied 
the cutter on the day of its arrival and, as usual, her heart had 
leaped up, setting her body to trembling like a wave on the point 
of breaking; but she did not see him until the close of the Sunday 
evening church service. She had been to church four times that day 
to hear George Whitefield. She knew her chances of seeing Bart at 
any of the services were very slim, but everyone else in Savannah 
was in attendance the people even stood outside the windows 
and she hoped he might come just once out of curiosity. 

Though she had trouble keeping her mind on George Whitefield, 
she was conscious that he had an unusually big, resonant voice, 
which he used with the artistry of a musician, and that he moved 
his small slim body about the pulpit with amazing grace, frequently 
standing on tiptoe, his right arm and hand stretched toward the 
Kingdom of Heaven of which he spoke. 

Once she did concentrate sufficiently to hear him roar in full 
volume, "People must be born anew, and when they are born anew, 
they are truly saved." Then, his voice quieting, he said, "And when 
they are truly saved, they can feel the Holy Spirit moving within 
them as clearly as the rays of the sun on their bodies" his hands, 
with the fingers fluttering, winged before his face and chest "and 
unless they so attain that state of perfection" now his voice began 
to soar again and his hands doubled into fists "they are damned to 
Hell and so are all the preachers who teach otherwise." He rested 
here, his blue eyes, with the disturbing squint, searching the faces 
of the congregation. Then, in almost a conversational tone, he 
added, "Nor are good works necessary to salvation, only faith." 

When the evening service was over and Heather was coming 
along the aisle toward the door, she suddenly felt Bart was close 
and almost immediately she saw him standing behind the last row 
of benches. His handsome head, sitting jauntily on his stocky body, 
was turned in her direction; but she pretended she didn't see him. 
She wouldn't give him a second opportunity to cut her. This time 
she would do the cutting. 

She had noticed, during the service, Thomas sitting with Colonel 

153 



Stephens a few rows ahead o her, across the aisle, and she knew he 
must be directly behind her. Her heart hammering furiously, she 
slowed her steps until he caught up with her. Hurriedly she took 
his arm, tilted her face upward and gave him her warmest, most 
brilliant smile. Then, as if she had no notion that Bart was any- 
where around, she swept out of the door, talking to Thomas with 
exaggerated animation. 

Shortly afterward, in bed, she was miserable with misgivings. 
Maybe Bart had come to the Courthouse with the intention of 
walking home with her and asking her to make up with him. 
Maybe he had finally decided that she meant more to him than Mr. 
Oglethorpe and, no matter in what low regard she held the Georgia 
leader, he loved her and could no longer live without her. Dear 
God, she had no doubt ruined the chance of a reconciliation by her 
impulsive, stupid behavior. 

She tossed feverishly hour after hour. Now Bart, no doubt, was 
even more hardened against her than before; now he would never, 
never come back to her. Why in Christ's name had she acted as 
she had? Why? Why? Why? Her moss-packed mattress lumped 
up with her twistings and turnings. Oh, if she could only live over 
those moments at the close of the church service. If she could only 
walk straight up to Bart, as if they had never quarreled, and look 
into his eyes with her own full of love. Assuredly, he would look 
back at her with eyes of love, too. ... He had to hold her in some 
affection. Nobody could be loved as she loved him and not love a 
little in return. It wasn't human. Only toward daylight when she 
hit upon what seemed to her the brilliant idea of going to the 
Bluff and seeking him out the first thing in the morning did she 
sleep at all, and then for only an hour. 

The Bluff was lined with beggars, Indian traders, Trustees' 
servants, small boys and frowzy women when she arrived a little 
after sunrise and peered down at the narrow ledge where the cutter 
was tied. She realized instantly it was ready to sail. Soldiers 
jammed it and all the rowers were at their places, except one, who 
stood by the bow line, waiting to cast off. 

Where was Bart, she wondered frantically; then heard steps 
swooshing in and out of the sand behind her and turned to see 
him, a sheaf of papers in his hand, approaching the stairs. She was 



practically in his path; he couldn't possibly get by without noticing 
her. With lips quivering in a smile, she started to raise her hand 
to reach out to him; but at that moment his eyes slid across her 
face as cold as dead fish and he stepped to one side and passed 
her. 



155 



XIV 



HEATHER'S golden head was up and her chin unconsciously 
jutting out a wee bit when she walked into the Stephens' parlor 
several days later and found Thomas at his father's desk, writing 
a letter. 

"Hallo," she murmured softly, standing close beside him and 
looking down at his bowed head, edged about the temples with 
beads of perspiration. 

"Hallo yourself," he said, surprised, for he had not heard her 
enter, and got quickly up and took her possessively by the arm. 

He led her to a chintz-covered settee against the wall opposite 
the fireplace and pulled her down beside him. "By jove, I'm 
weary," he said, sighing and sopping up the sweat from his brow 
with a fine muslin handkerchief. "This day has been a scorcher, 
hasn't it?" He stretched his long legs in front of him and lolled 
his head against the back of the settee. 

"Aye," she said and smiled sympathetically down at him. 

"To what, ma'am, do I owe the honor of this visit?" he asked 
with mock gravity. 

"Must there be a reason for it?" 

"Well, not so far as I'm concerned, but knowing what a busy 
purposeful body you are I have a feeling there is a reason lurking 
somewhere." 

Heather grinned, tucked her feet partly under her and behind 
her on the settee and turned her whole lithe body sideways toward 
him. "Yes, Thomas dear, you're right. I do have a reason." 

"Go ahead; I'm all ears." He took her hand that lay on the sofa 
between them, turned it up and rubbed his thumb back and forth 
across the palm. 

"I don't know exactly how to tell you . . ." 

156 



"Why not?" He folded her fingers one by one into her palm. 

"Well, it sounds so bold of me . . ." She smiled at him half 
apologetically, half wistfully. "I came here especially to tell you 
that I believe now I'm truly in love with you." 

He crushed her hand. "Are you sure, my dearest? Are you sure?" 

"Yes, I'm sure." 

A wave of elation swept over his face and he pulled her ex- 
citedly across his chest and began to kiss her, his full soft lips push- 
ing hard against hers, his pointed tongue flicking in her mouth like 
a flame. Finally, his face so white that the pockmarks on his cheek- 
bones stood out starkly, he lifted his head and asked, "Shall we ask 
Parson Whitefield tomorrow to have the first reading of the banns 
this Sunday?" 

Immediately she felt panic-stricken, trapped. She hadn't ex- 
pected Thomas to suggest that they be wed so quickly. What about 
Bart? Her heart began to pound in a heavy, frightened rhythm. 
What about Bart? She spread a shaking hand against the base of 
her throat. Then more calmly she thought, Well, what about Bart? 
If she were married to Thomas she would no longer grow feverish 
with desire in the long hours of the night. 

She knew Thomas loved her and she was very fond of him 
and so in time, no doubt, she would love him equally. In her 
early teens, back in London, before Bart had come into her life, 
she cared madly for every young boy who cared for her. Somehow 
the amazement and gratitude she felt at a boy singling her out 
warmed quickly to affection. So why not in Thomas's case? 

"Lookee, Heather, shall we ask him tomorrow?" Thomas per- 
sisted. " 'Twill take three weeks to read the banns, so we'd best 
move lively. Mr. Whitefield might quit Georgia any day now. I 
hear he can't tolerate this August heat; he says the sand in the 
streets actually burns through his shoes." 

The August heat wasn't all George Whitefield couldn't tolerate, 
Heather reflected with a surge of satisfaction. Like a traveling 
journalist he had spent every waking hour that he wasn't holding 
services visiting the inhabitants of Savannah and the many outlying 
villages and expressing his frank opinions about what he heard 
and saw. He had declared right out that Georgia was an infant 
colony in every respect and, because of its constitution, likely to 

157 



remain one. He had angrily cited the restrictions: the prohibition 
of slaves and rum, the limitations on the ownership of the land and 
the tenure of tail male, 

'Why putting people in that position," he had said, "is like tying 
men's legs together and bidding them walk." 

The villages of Hampstead and Highgate, settled by Swiss, and 
the Salzburgers' village of Ebenezer were the only exceptions to his 
general condemnation. He felt they had made striking progress in 
spite of the crippling regulations. 

"Shall we ask him tomorrow, my pretty?" Thomas was pleading 
for the third or fourth time when Heather's attention came back 
to him. 

"Yea, if you so desire." 

"Of course, I so desire." Thomas clasped his hands in front of 
his chest so hard the blood drained from his long fingers. "Tomor- 
row 'twill be." 

However in spite of his declaration, it was late evening before he 
and Heather caught up with Mr. Whitefield and then it was in a 
most inappropriate place, the Burying Ground. Mr. Whitefield was 
scheduled to conduct the funeral of Savannah's only attorney, Wil- 
liam Aglionby, and though Thomas and Heather weren't invited, 
they decided to go anyway in the hope of talking to the parson 
when it was over. 

But, after all, he didn't conduct the service. The corpse was there 
and the mourners, despite the heat, were there in their black scarves 
and long black coats and mourning rings, but no Mr. Whitefield. 
He sent a message that he would have nothing to do with the 
funeral, so in his stead William Aglionby's servant haltingly read 
the prescribed verses. 

When he finished, the unpainted pine box was lowered into the 
gray-black hole. Then, like the thick thud of Heather's own heart, 
the first shovelfuls of sand struck the lid. 

Abruptly, there was a stirring among the mourners. Heather 
jerked her head about and saw the short, bustling figure of Mr, 
Whitefield emerging from the shadows of the moss-shrouded live 
oaks. His shoulders squared and his face stern, he marched reso- 
lutely to the head of the grave and planted his pumps upon the 
freshly scraped earth. 



"Brethren, I want you to know before you disperse/' he began 
in that big voice that seemed even bigger in the Burying Ground, 
"that I refused to conduct the service over this man because he was 
the most professed unbeliever I ever met up with." 

There was one long gasp from the mourners; then silence. 

"God was pleased to visit this unbeliever with a lingering illness/* 
Mr. Whitefield boomed on, "in which time I went to see him fre- 
quently. I asked him what religion he was o and he answered, 
'Religion is divided into so many sects I know not which to choose.* 

"Another time I offered to pray with him, but he would not 
accept it, upon which I resolved to see him no more." Mr. White- 
field stopped to mop the sweat from his puffy cheeks and from his 
hairy wrists. "But two days ago, being told that he had an inclina- 
tion to see me, I went to him again and, after a little conversation, 
I put to him the following question: 'Do you believe Jesus Christ 
to be God, the one mediator between God and man?" 

"And what, my brethren, do you suppose he answered? He said, 
*I believe Christ was a good man.' " 

Mr. Whitefield waited for this bolt to sink home, one eye moving 
from face to face while the squint one appeared stationary. "Then 
I asked him, 'Do you believe the Holy Scriptures?' 

" 'I believe something of the Old Testament/ he answered. 'The 
New I do not believe at all.' 

"'Do you believe, sir, in judgment to come?' I next asked him 
and he very deliberately turned himself over and said, 'I know not 
what to say to that.' " 

Mr. Whitefield again waited for these words to take effect, but 
they had no effect on Heather. Her mind was in a turmoil. How 
could this parson who had been so sensitive to the problems of the 
Colony be so insensitive to the problem of a fellow human being? 
He had grasped almost immediately the impossible situation in 
which Mr. Oglethorpe and the Trustees had placed the settlers 
and yet he had not comprehended at all the situation of this poor 
dying man. 

And that he was actually dying was vouched for by Mr. White- 
field himself. There he stood in the feebly flickering torchlight, de- 
claiming, "I believe these words gave this man concern, for after 

159 



I spoke them he seemed to be very uneasy, grew delirious and in a 
day or two departed this life/' 

With that, Mr. Whitefield stalked off and headed for the town 
gate, 

"Come on, dear heart," Thomas urged Heather. "The parson's 
moving like a schooner in full sail. We must step speedily if we're 
to overtake him." 

Though Heather turned and ran beside Thomas, she stopped 
just as soon as they were out of earshot of the mourners and blurted 
out, "Thomas, I will not have that man marry us, I won't have a 
mean prig like that saying the service over you and me." And she 
began to cry hysterically. 

Thomas turned loose the hand he'd been holding and put his 
arm around her shoulder. "Now, now, my dearest/' he said softly. 

"How do you suppose his widow and children felt?" Heather 
went on stormily. "I could have died for them. It was the worst 
thing I ever experienced in my entire life." 

"My dear heart, Mr. Aglionby didn't have a spouse or an off- 
spring. Remember? And though I concur with you heartily that 
what the parson said was in very bad taste, I see no reason why he 
shouldn't marry us." 

Nervously, Heather pulled her open hands over her perspiring 
cheeks. "I know, Thomas dear, what you say makes sense, but Fd 
rather wait until another parson comes. It won't be long." 

"All right, if that's the way you feel." 

As he uttered the words, she felt the vise that had held her for 
twenty-four hours loosen across her chest. 

Five days later a small boat, carrying George Whitefield and 
many gifts of wine, ale, cake, coffee, tea and other delicacies from 
his parishioners, set off from Savannah for Charles Town, where 
the parson would board a ship for England. He would be back 
though, he promised. He would return to build an orphans' house 
for the fatherless and motherless children in Georgia. One could 
easily be built, he said, if God would stir the hearts of those rich in 
this world's goods to contribute the necessary funds. 

Watching the sails balloon out as they caught the wind, Heather 
thought to herself that Mr. Whitefield wouldn't have had time to 
160 



read the banns even if Thomas had asked him . . . and the weight 
on her conscience lightened. 

The next few weeks she had neither the time nor the inclination 
to take the pulse of her personal feelings. Such an atmosphere of 
apprehension spread over the land, she couldn't possibly think of 
Thomas and herself, but only of the affairs of the Colony. 

A shocking letter arrived from the Trustees, announcing they 
could no longer defray the expenses of any persons, except those 
whom they specifically listed to carry on the services of the Colony. 

Thomas Causton tacked the list on the Courthouse door and 
Heather noted with a sickening sinking of the heart that a woeful 
few were on it. The list covered only: 

3 bailiffs and a recorder each at Savannah and Frederica 
6 constables and 24 tithingmen in the same towns 

i storekeeper and clerk for the entire Colony 
An overseer for looking after the millwright 
Secretary of Affairs of the Trust in Georgia 

4 ministers at 50 pounds each 

100 pounds for the necessary support of the sick and widows in 
the northern part and 50 pounds for those in the south. 

i messenger to maintain a correspondence between Savannah 
and Charles Town 

1 messenger between Savannah and Frederica 

2 millwrights 

A surveyor for surveying the land 

An assistant to the surveyor 

A smith for the repair of Indian arms 

Italian silk winders 

A gardener in the Public Gardens 

The Trustees had also sharply reprimanded Thomas Causton for 
the expenses he had incurred for which he had given no satisfac- 
tory account, and ordered him to send over copies of all his jour- 
nals and daybooks and ledgers from Lady Day, 1734, to the present 
time. Furthermore, they dismissed him from his 40-pounds-a-year 
job as storekeeper. "You shall have allowance one month after 

161 



receipt o this letter," they wrote him bluntly, "and no longer, there 
being very little business for a storekeeper now, excepting the 
proper care and issuing of what shall remain in the Store; and 
that they do not intend to trouble you with, because they think your 
attendance upon the Court and other avocations will fully take up 
your time." 

But after penning these words, they evidently became more in- 
censed, for in a second letter that came in the very same pouch 
they removed him as first bailiff and appointed Henry Parker "in 
his room." 

Heather couldn't help feeling sorry for Thomas Causton at this 
final blow. He would sorely miss rearing back on the bench, draped 
in his purple velvet, ermine-trimmed robe, instructing the jury in 
that voice that sounded like empty barrels rolling. As for Henry 
filling his shoes, this made her terribly uneasy. She liked Henry 
immensely, of course; but there was no escaping the fact that he 
stayed drunk at least half of the time. 

Then, on top of everything else, practically all the crops had 
dried up for the third straight year. The only exception was the 
broad, white variety of corn that Jason, Colonel Stephens and a 
few others had planted. For some reason this variety had proved 
more drought-resistant than the yellow corn and would yield a 
small harvest. 

"I can't help but consider," Colonel Stephens remarked in his 
loquacious fashion, slowly shaking his bony head, as he, Heather 
and Thomas strolled one evening about the town to catch the 
breeze stirring from the sea, "what an unhappy state that person 
must be in who has been truly laborious and careful in cultivating 
and planting his land, depending wholly on the increase for his 
and his family's support, now to find himself destitute of all relief." 

Indeed, the inhabitants really did grow clamorous. With their 
crops ruined and their accounts at the Store closed, the specter of 
want stared them in the face and it was much more terrifying than 
the prospect of an invading army. 

A few people, including Colonel Stephens, whose ignorance 

Heather excused because he was new to the Colony, thought if 

James Oglethorpe would only come he would set matters to rights. 

However, all summer went by without a word of him. Then there 

162 



was a report that he had sailed July 5th from Portsmouth; then a 
captain of a brigantine, anchoring at Charles Town, claimed he had 
actually seen him at the Madeiras. Then finally, on September 
27th, the news came that he had landed at St. Simons. He had 
come on the Blandjord man-of-war, escorted by another man-of- 
war and five transports, with approximately 700 soldiers and their 
families. 

This was a far cry, Bart reflected when the word reached him 
off Cumberland Island where he was stationed, from James Ogle- 
thorpe's first crossing five and a half years before on the 2oo-ton 
frigate Ann. In spite of the crop failures, in spite of the grumbling 
of so many of the inhabitants, in spite of the Trustees' shortage of 
money, in spite of Spain's opposition, Georgia would surely be 
established as a permanent Colony. He couldn't believe James 
Oglethorpe would continue to bring more settlers and more soldiers 
if he didn't have faith that Georgia would survive. 

Impatiently Bart waited for an auxiliary ship of the Haw\ to 
relieve him so he could welcome the Georgia leader and assist with 
the unloading of the transports. However, by the time he reached 
St. Simons the unloading was well under way and there was little 
need of his services. 

The soldiers were working from five o'clock in the morning 
until between eleven and twelve, depending upon the severity of 
the heat; then from one or two o'clock until dark, often wading up 
to their necks in high breakers. Besides guns and ammunition and 
provisions, they were unloading and carrying on their backs clap- 
boards and other necessities for building houses for themselves and 
families to a site some little distance from the fort. They were also 
helping the Regiment's carpenters, hauling brick, burning lime 
and putting up the houses. Then, too, they were clearing the land 
of trees and brush for gardens and a parade ground. James Ogle- 
thorpe was stationing four companies of the Regiment at Fort St. 
Simons and two companies his own and Captain Hugh Mackay's 
at Frederica. 

The General had just finished reviewing his company on the new 
parade ground at Frederica when Bart greeted him. "How be you, 
Mr. Oglethorpe?" he asked, then quickly corrected himself. "I'm 
sorry, sir, I mean General Oglethorpe." 

163 



"That's perfectly all right, Bart," the Georgia leader answered 
with a gracious air of magnanimity. He was exceedingly pleased 
with his command and it was impossible for him to hide it. "And 
to answer your question, sir, I'm in good health and I trust you're 
the same." 

"Yes, sir, I have nothing to complain of." 

"Bart, I hear that you and the other boat captains and the crews 
haven't been paid in months?" 

"That's right, sir, but we've managed so far. As you know, 
General, we're fair shots and even better fishermen and so we'll 
continue to manage until the Trustees' affairs are mended." Bart 
felt somewhat pompous making this speech and his fair cheeks 
flushed self-consciously. 

General Oglethorpe put his hand on his shoulder. "That's a 
most commendable spirit, Bart, but you and the other boatmen 
will be paid if I have to take the money out of my own pocket. 
However, I am forced to reduce the Rangers and make some other 
drastic cuts." 

"That's too bad, sir." 

"Yes, Captain, it is." He stroked his nose with two fingers of his 
right hand. "In fact, I must say I find myself in one of the most 
delightful situations any man could wish to be." A rueful smile 
touched his full, almost pouting lips. "Here I am, faced with a 
great number of debts, empty stores and no money to supply them, 
large numbers of people to be fed, a Spanish claim to the land and 
a large body of their troops not far from us. Yet, to tell you the 
truth, Bart, these difficulties rather animate than daunt me." 

Bart missed completely the note of braggadocio in General Ogle- 
thorpe's voice. Warm with admiration, he said, "I can understand 
that, sir." 

The Georgia leader's hazel eyes raked the sun-flooded Parade 
ground with the soldiers scattering across it. Their uniforms 
looked much redder in this gold-flooded October light, against the 
dark green backdrop of trees, than he remembered them in Eng- 
land. 

Turning back to Bart, he said, "I've been powerfully busy since 
arriving here, writing letters." 

Bart grinned. "That sounds natural, sir." 

164 



<e Yes, I suppose it does," he agreed and a faint smile stirred 
about the corners of his mouth. "Among other people I've been 
writing to the Honorable Thomas Archer, who is very well ac- 
quainted with some of the Lords of the Admiralty, to see if he 
can't use his influence to have the Blandjord man-of-war that 
brought me over continued off the Georgia coast." 

James Oglethorpe started cutting across the Parade toward a 
new two-story brick duplex on Broad Street, occupied by the 
Samuel Davisons and by the surgeon, Dr. Benjamin Hawkins, and 
his wife. As Samuel ran a tavern on the first floor of his half of 
the duplex, Bart figured that was the Georgia leader's destination 
and fell into step beside him. 

"If the Blandjord and the Haw\ were continued on here," James 
Oglethorpe said, "with one lying in Amelia Sound and the other 
in Jekyll, they could cover the Province by sea and keep open the 
communications between the isknds. As you are well acquainted, 
Bart, if the communications are not kept open, there can be very 
dangerous consequences." 

"Yes, sir, but do you think the Lords of the Admiralty will 
agree?" 

James Oglethorpe swept of his low-roofed felt and bowed low 
to two women hurrying toward the river; then went on talking as 
if they had only crossed his sight, not his mind. 'It's hard to say. 
They may argue that if we are attacked, the ships stationed at 
Charles Town can come to our assistance." 

"But Charles Town, sir, is three degrees to the north of Su 
Simons and St. Augustine is only half a degree to the south.'* 

"Of course, Captain, and by the time they could reach us front 
Charles Town, the attack would likely be over. Besides, as you and 
I have experienced many times, the Gulf Stream sets with a rapid 
current to the northward so that it's very difficult to come from 
Charles Town southward." 

"Also may I remind you, sir, that the very wind that would 
bring the Spanish up to us from Havana or St. Augustine would 
be the same wind that would hold back our ships from coming 
down to us from Carolina." 

How exciting it was to be conversing with James Oglethorpe 
again, Bart thought. The Georgia leader's absence of almost two 



years evidently hadn't changed his habit of talking out his prob- 
lems. Hearing them in words, no doubt, cleared them in his mind 
and even perhaps lightened them. Bart hoped that from this hour 
on he would always be on hand whenever the General felt the 
need of a listener. And he saw no reason why he shouldn't be; he 
no longer looked for excuses to chase off to Savannah, 

Nevertheless, he was on his way to Savannah in two weeks. He 
was taking James Oglethorpe to pay his first visit to the northern 
part of the Colony since his return to Georgia. 

Her pulses pounding in her ears as loudly as the guns from the 
Battery, Heather waited, with practically all the other settlers o 
the town and the neighboring villages, on the Bluff. Frankly and 
bitterly she admitted to herself that the wild acceleration of her 
blood was not due to the appearance of the Georgia leader after so 
long an absence, but by the expectation of seeing Bart once again. 
Would a look from his light blue eyes snap a whip of pain and 
joy through her as it once had done? she wondered. Or was it 
possible she had finally built up an indifference to him? Dear God, 
what a relief it would be if he no longer had the power to strike 
vibrations through every inch of her being! 

James Oglethorpe, a sight to behold in his brilliant red coat with 
facings of green, fluttering silk sash and three-cornered, low-roofed 
hat, came lightly and swiftly up the stairs to the embankment, 
followed by two officers: Captain Hugh Mackay and Lieutenant 
Patrick Sutherland. Captain Mackay was a familiar figure in Sa- 
vannah, but Lieutenant Sutherland was new. He was extremely 
tall, lanky and quick-moving and he had sharp, smart features, 
snapping black eyes and a bad, shiny-red complexion. 

A little way behind them strode Bart, his coonskin cap sitting 
jauntily on the side of his blond head, his face quiet. Through an 
opening in the crowd, his eyes met Heather's squarely and in- 
stantly both her hands spread across her stomach to ease the falling 
apart of everything inside of her. Then, not showing by the twitch 
of a muscle that he had seen her, he shouldered his way steadily 
but unhurriedly through the crowd and passed within a few feet 
of her. 

The next morning Heather heard the Georgia leader crush the 
166 



hopes that Colonel Stephens and a few other optimists had enter- 
tained that his coming would improve the situation. 

"My friends, the Trust of this Province is deeply in debt," he 
announced bluntly to the assembled colonists. "In fact it is so 
close to bankruptcy I scarcely see how it can manage to escape it." 

A muttering and rustling such as partridges make when flushed 
ran through the audience. 

"Mr. Causton has far exceeded the Trustees' orders, recklessly 
buying goods of all the ships that come in here and charging them 
to the Trustees, who had no money to pay for them. Yet, with all 
this extravagant buying, there is barely enough goods in the Store 
for the support of those industrious people who, through no fault 
of their own, are in definite need of help." He gave the side of 
his nose several quick brushes with his finger tips. "It is necessary 
therefore that the ordinary issue of goods be drastically retrenched. 
I beg your patience and understanding." 

That evening he summoned Thomas Causton to meet him in the 
small apartment adjoining the Store. Unintentionally, Jason too 
was present. He had gone there by appointment to talk with James 
Oglethorpe after his interview with the former storekeeper, but 
due to the clock above the Store being an hour fast, he arrived at 
the start of the embarrassing session. 

"General Oglethorpe," Thomas Causton began, leaning forward 
until the soft, round paunch of his stomach squashed in his lap, 
"if the expenses of the Colony have exceeded the calculations of the 
Trustees, I assure you, sir, it is through no fault of mine. I have 
done everything possible to hold them down." 

"No amount of protestation on your part, Mr. Causton, can 
alter the fact that the Colony is now in a miserable financial 
state." James Oglethorpe's voice was curt. 

"Nevertheless, your Excellency, I accept no blame for it. I la- 
bored these years, night and day, with only one idea to make the 
Colony a success. If I've failed, it only proves that the Trustees 
weren't very apt in their choice of a storekeeper." A bitter smile 
widened, without opening, his fishlike mouth. 

"Now, sir, there is no call for you to take umbrage. This Province 
owes debts totaling thousands of pounds how many thousands 

167 



nobody seems to know at the moment and the Trust has no 
money to meet them. As you were in charge of the accounts and 
no bills could be charged to the Trust without your certifying them, 
the blame is yours whether you're desirous of accepting it or not." 

"No man can be blamed for what he can't help." Thomas Caus- 
ton doubled his fat hand to pound an empty hogshead. "Every- 
thing in this country costs double and treble what it did at first. 
And twenty-four hours a day people screamed at me for money, 
for food, for shoes, for beer and for God knows what all. And I 
gave them what I could, for I was sensible of the fact that if any- 
thing happened to them you would never forgive me." 

James Oglethorpe's indignation for the moment subsided. "You 
were correct, sir, in that assumption." 

"Yea, and consequently instead of criticizing me for what I've 
done, I think you would commend me. The Trustees have never 
had a more faithful, long-suffering servant." 

"Can you explain the manner in which the bills increased so 
extravagantly and the stores decreased so alarmingly?" 

"That's simple, your Excellency. We were in debt, you remember, 
when you left for England nothing like we are now, of course, 
but 'twas considerable and against that debt I had a meager three 
hundred and fifty pounds in cash and a paucity of provisions. 
Really, there wasn't more than twenty pounds of meat in all the 
Province. Consequently, with the stores so near exhausted, I had 
to meet the most pressing demands of those servants who had 
money due them with cash; so, naturally, in a short while I was 
out of cash also." 

James Oglethorpe got up, bumping against a keg of nails as he 
did so, and began pacing across the narrow confines of the apart- 
ment. 

"Then last March," Thomas Causton went on, "we had advices 
that the Spaniards were preparing an immediate descent upon 
us/' 

"I know . . ." 

"The shock was terrific. Here we were" Thomas Causton 

spread his hamlike hands, palms up "with the stores exhausted 

and no hope of an early supply and the Spaniards expected hourly. 

The inhabitants were wild. They insisted on erecting a fort. I was 

168 



sensible to its being a great expense, but what could I do? The 
people were positive they had to have a fort if their lives were to 
be saved, so I said, 'Build a fort!' Then there was the matter of 
provisioning the Store. Not knowing what turn an attack might 
take, I deemed it best to have the Store well stocked. Then if the 
people had to have provisions over a long period of siege, it would 
be on hand; if they didn't, then they could be saved for another 
day." 

"Go ahead," James Oglethorpe said as the storekeeper hesitated. 

"There was seething unrest. The people were threatening by 
droves to leave the Colony for safer shores. I figured it behooved 
me to go any lengths to satisfy their wants. 

"Then there was the southern division to be provisioned. You 
had strictly enjoined me, General, not to allow the settlements to 
the south to surfer for want of supplies. I was merely following out 
your instructions when I sent them stores." 

General Oglethorpe stopped his pacing and faced Thomas 
Causton. "So you contend, sir, those are the expenses that account 
for the staggering debt?" 

"For a considerable portion of it, your Excellency, but there were 
still other expenses. You can't expect to run a charitable establish- 
ment such as this without the costs mounting. There are extra 
expenses that the Trustees over there in London never consider. 
Take that frontier settlement up the Savannah at Augusta, for 
instance. In the Trustees' budget, they allowed pay for a captain, 
a lieutenant and fifteen private men. So what about the sergeant 
and constable? And what about provisions, boats, arms, ammuni- 
tion and all the incidental charges that naturally attend a settlement 
so remote from the rest of the Colony? It costs money to build a 
fort, to raise food, to cultivate the friendship of the Indians." 

James Oglethorpe kept silent. Thomas Causton now reminded 
him so forcefully of himself talking that he was uncomfortable. 

"Then there is the upkeep of the Salzburgers at Ebenezer, 
Would you believe it, General, they are left completely out of the 
Trustees' budget? Yet, the Trustees must know that sixty families, 
no matter how industrious, cannot be supported in so young a 
Colony without assistance. In dealing with the Salzburgers I fol- 
lowed the plans laid down for the other settlements; however, 

169 



there had to be some extraordinary allowances. No two settlements 
are alike., as you are sensible of, sir. 

"Then, of course, every garrison and every scout boat have a 
variety of expenses. There are accidents, damages, repairs and God 
knows what all. This is a wilderness we are living in and anything 
can happen. There has been an increase, too, in the expenses of the 
Trustees' sawmill and the cowpen at Ebenezer." 

"I'm only too familiar, Mr. Causton, with the truth of most of 
your statements," James Oglethorpe said slowly, even reluctantly, 
turning his silver snuffbox about in his hand. 

"That, your Excellency, is what makes me so bitter about this 
whole business.*' Thomas Causton lifted his stomach out of his lap 
and shoved it forward. "Here I am left alone to run the Colony to 
the best of my ability and instead of approbation, I get condemna- 
tion. I didn't seek this responsibility; it was thrust upon me. And 
God knows I didn't expect to have it month after month alone. I 
understand, of course, sir, that you could not prevent the delays 
that kept you in England; but you must admit that it was a long 
span for one man to carry such a burden. 

"When Colonel Stephens arrived as Secretary to the Trust, I was 
very hopeful that I might in some measure be relieved of so much 
responsibility; but he couldn't be of much assistance. Nobody 
could. The Trustees' calculations were so greatly short of the 
actual total that it was impossible to reconcile them. But God 
knows I tried. I sacrificed every minute of my own and of my 
family's time, and all my goods and eatables and drinkables to 
Indians and strangers for the sake of the Colony and its safety." 
His rumbling voice took on the tones of martyrdom. "And now 
what do I get? Instead of such rewards as one would naturally 
expect, my character is clouded." 

James Oglethorpe studied him coldly between narrowed lids. 
He knew there was a great deal of truth in what this man said; 
yet he suspected he was lying, too. Thomas Causton had come to 
Georgia a poor man and now he wore velvet coats, linen shirts 
and lace-trimmed cravats, and he had both a town and country 
house with extensive, heavily wooded grounds. His face grim, the 
Georgia leader said, "We won't discuss it any more tonight, but 
170 



after an investigation of the books you will be extended another 
opportunity to clear your character." 

The investigation of the books was what James Oglethorpe 
wanted to talk about with Jason. He needed an expert accountant 
to work with Colonel Stephens to discover if the Trustees had been 
charged for goods issued fraudulently to some private person or 
persons. Though Jason mentioned once lamely his plans for the 
Lot, he accepted the offer with real eagerness. It meant a regular 
salary and also it would delight Truly. 

Naturally James Oglethorpe's visit failed to quiet the widespread 
dissatisfaction and just as soon as he departed for the south, Dr. 
Tailfer, Robert Williams and many others worked on a petition 
entitled "Representation of Grievances" to send to the Trustees. 

Thomas would have liked to have worked on it, but Colonel 
Stephens insisted excitedly that he have nothing to do with it. The 
Secretary was in a ticklish position. In spite of feeling that the 
prohibition against slaves handicapped the colonists seriously in 
fact, no one was more vocal in private conversations about the 
"trifling" white servants he feared he would endanger his position 
with the Trustees if he or Thomas had a hand in the Representa- 
tion. And God forbid that happening. He was too old and he had 
suffered too much from poverty at one point in his life he had 
even had to hide out for many months from his creditors to take 
any chances now on losing his position. 

Not only did he warn Thomas to keep his hands off the petition, 
but he began angrily calling Dr. Tailfer and the others associated 
with him "those Madcaps," "those disgruntled Scotchmen," "the 
Juntillo" and other epithets; and he denounced Henry roundly for 
adding his name to the names or x's of the other 117 freeholders 
who signed the Representation when it was completed, reminding 
him that after all he was the first bailiff. 

Stoutly Henry defended himself. "Nobody wishes the Colony to 
flourish more than myself," he said, "but hunless some changes be 
made use of to correct these grievances, I'm of the 'onest o-pinion 
hit never will." 

"But, Mr. Parker, have you taken into consideration how the 
Trustees will react to your action?" Colonel Stephens persisted. 

171 



"Why I'm far from thinking, sir, the 'Onerable Trustees will 
resent hit as a hindignity offered 'em," Henry answered, swinging 
his hands about as if he were trying to dry them in the wind. "Hit 
is no more than a 'umble petition which every freeborn subject of 
England 'as a right to offer." 

Nevertheless, James Oglethorpe, for one, resented it the moment 
he read it and as the 117 signatures represented practically all the 
freeholders of Savannah, he turned against the whole town and 
refused to come near it for many, many weeks. 

"Those Savannahians were just seeking an excuse of a bustle," 
he said bitterly to Bart one day as they were bypassing Savannah 
on their way to Charles Town, "and 'twas only after many consulta- 
tions that they hit upon this petition to be allowed Negroes and to 
have their lands in fee simple." 

"You really think that, sir?" questioned Bart, his face amazed 
and his voice decidedly skeptical, for he could still hear Heather's 
heated arguments resounding in his ears. 

"Of course, though I do understand Robert Williams brought 
a lot of weight to bear upon the signers. I hear he promised to 
secure them Negro slaves just as soon as they could arrange to 
sell or mortgage their lands to him." 

"Damme!" said Bart with angry emphasis, but he was still puz- 
zled at James Oglethorpe's attitude. Did he actually believe there 
were no grounds for the grievances or was he simply refusing to 
recognize them like a boy whistling in the dark? 



172 



XV 



HEATHER stretched herself across the back steps, hoping to 
ease her weary, aching muscles before Thomas arrived for his 
regular evening visit. The air was balmy and sweet and a golden 
canoe of a few-days-old moon, tied to the stob of the evening star, 
lay quietly on the wide expanse of the luminous sky. She could 
hear Bobby and the Milledge children John, Richard and Sarah 
playing out in the alley and from the direction of Joseph Fitz- 
walter's house the mournful mooing of his cow which, evidently, 
Joseph had not yet got around to milking. 

She was alone. Truly was visiting Anne at the Parkers* country 
place on the Isle of Hope. Anne had pleaded she needed her be- 
cause Henry was spending every day and night in Savannah and 
she was lonely without him. 

James Oglethorpe had finally arrived in town, which meant that 
not only Henry but Colonel Stephens, Thomas Causton, Recorder 
Christie, Noble Jones, Jason and everyone else connected with the 
affairs of the Colony must be constantly at his beck and call. He 
was attending to a multiplicity of business. 

First, he had looked into the heavy swing to trade by the planters. 
Daily those with a little money to invest were abandoning the land 
and going into small businesses in town. To stop this, he had 
promised a bounty of two shillings per bushel for Indian corn and 
one shilling per bushel above the market price. 

Then he had taken up the problem of the Savannah water front. 
The loose sand of the high bluff was fast wearing away, making 
the steps unsafe for heavy loads; also the crane was frequently out 
of order. With the thought of war ever before him, he decided, in 
spite of the financial distress of the Trustees, to build a wharf at 
the high-water mark, with warehouses and other conveniences for 

173 



loading and unloading goods. He contracted with Andrew Duchee, 
a potter by trade, who spent most of his time writing to the 
Trustees for loans to carry on experiments with Georgia clay, to 
do the job for 50 pounds sterling. 

At present the General was checking up on the stores of the 
Regiment and had summoned many people, including Thomas, 
to testify to their stewardship. That, Heather judged, was what 
was detaining Thomas now, but as a matter of fact, at the very 
moment she was thinking this, Thomas was standing at the For- 
syths 5 door staring through the hall at the back of her gold head. 
For a full minute or more he stood there as if figuring out how to 
break some piece of news before announcing his presence. 

Finally, Heather became conscious of him there, wheeled about 
and called out with cheerful warmth, "Here I am, Thomas dear, 
I was just wondering what was keeping you." 

However, her cheerful warmth drained away when she saw 
Thomas, for his usually gentle, soft brown eyes were dark and 
stormy and his full, wide mouth thin and grim. Something awful 
had happened, she sensed at once, and reached out for his hand 
and pulled him down beside her. 

"What's the matter, my dearest?" 

"Heather, I'm in grievous trouble with General Oglethorpe," he 
blurted out. "He has accused me of attempting to embezzle the 
King's stores." 

"Pray, Thomas, what are you saying?" Wide-eyed, she stared at 
him and saw that his face was drained of all color, except where 
the pockmarks dug into the skin, and her heart began to beat 
rapidly with fear. 

"Just what I said, Heather." He stared back at her miserably. 
"He believes I've done a criminal and felonious act because some- 
body has lied to him about me." 

"Thomas, my dear, please go back to the beginning and acquaint 
me with everything." She pressed his hand in the cradle of her 
neck. 

"'Tis a long story, Heather. .It had its inception last summer 
when Colonel Cochran arrived here with that large supply of wine 
for the Regiment and for his own personal use and Bart Galloway 

174 



stored it in the pinder's cellar. Do you recollect that?" Again he 
turned his big eyes, brimming with pain, upon her. 

"Yea, I remember." 

"Well, from that time till last week when Colonel Cochran 
arrived here from Frederica on his way back to England You 
are acquainted, aren't you, Heather, that he and Captain Hugh 
Mackay had such a dangerous feud that General Oglethorpe sent 
them to England under guard for fear that if they remained in 
Georgia they might kill each other?" 

"Yea." 

He shifted his weight on the hard step, gazing now straight 
ahead of him. "So, all these months I have been a faithful and 
painstaking steward. I delivered out the wine belonging to the 
Regiment only when I was so directed by the quartermaster of the 
Regiment and I have disposed of the colonel's wines by sale or as 
gifts only as the colonel himself advised me to do." 

"Yes, dearest, I know you have." 

"And there was never the least suggestion, Heather, that I neg- 
lected the care of the wines by suffering them to come to any 
damage through want of filling up or cooperage and so forth. 
Indeed, Heather, I was so assiduous in my duties that in spite of 
the terrible heat of the summer the waste was much less than 
expected." 

Heather laced her fingers between his long ones and held them 
tightly. 

"Wherefore, the colonel, desiring to gratify me for the care and 
pains I had taken, made me a present last Friday, just as he was 
leaving, of a noteor, maybe, the better term for it is an order. This 
order was from the quartermaster of the Regiment upon the per- 
son who has the custody of the Regiment's stores to deliver to 
Colonel Cochran a certain quantity of lamp oil and other species 
of provisions to the value of nine pounds; but instead of Colonel 
Cochran withdrawing these articles, he endorsed the note over to 
me so I could have them." He looked at Heather to see if she 
understood, 

"Yes, my dearest," she murmured. 

"So I, believing the articles were due Colonel Cochran out of 

175 



the provisions he had brought when he first came over, presented 
the note in all innocence, but to my utter amazement it was turned 
down. Can you imagine it, Heather? Naturally, it incensed me. I 
thought that since Colonel Cochran was gone away I was to be 
juggled out of my just dues; therefore, I went to Magistrate Par- 
ker for a summons to have the matter discussed as a civil action." 

"You did the proper thing, Thomas. 1 ' She lifted their entwined 
hands to her cheek and leaned her head upon them. 

"I thought so, too, Heather, but Father on hearing about it didn't 
see it that way. He didn't consider I had done wrong, you under- 
stand, he simply feared my impatience to collect the order might 
be misconstrued, so he urged me to drop the whole matter, which 
I readily did. Nevertheless, Heather, somebody misrepresented my 
action to the General and, in spite of my having nothing to hide 
and answering all the General's questions openly, with no show of 
terror or guilt, he rebuked me cruelly. He gave me to understand 
that attempting to embezzle the King's stores was of a criminal 
and felonious nature, which I deserved to be sent to England to 
answer for." Bitter resentment colored his voice. 

"I can't believe it, Thomas dear," Heather protested. 

Thomas ignored her. "General Oglethorpe said, however, that 
he would pass over it this time because of his tenderness for my 
father." 

"Did he really, Thomas? I'm so glad." 

"God A'mighty, Heather, I don't know what there's to be glad 
about!" He jerked his hand from Heather's and clutching his other 
one pumped them between his drawn-up knees. "I'm cut to the 
quick. Verily, I'm horrified at the imputation of so vile an act and 
I intend to appeal to all mankind to vindicate me." 

Heather was alarmed; she had never seen mild-mannered 
Thomas in such a rage. 

"I'm guilty of no transgression other than being too rash, per- 
haps, in applying to the Magistrates for a hearing. Yet it seems to 
me that very act ought to acquit me of any wrongdoing, for it 
doesn't make sense, does it, for me to show my face to the Magis- 
trates if I'm guilty of any wrongdoing?" 

Heather shook her head. "Of course not, my dearest. You 
couldn't be guilty of any wrongdoing. There's just been some ter* 

176 



rible mistake." Yearning to comfort him, she leaned across him, her 
face turned toward his, put her free arm around his shoulder and 
began to move her fingers gently up and down the nape of his 
neck. 

Thomas continued to stare stonily ahead. 

"I love you, Thomas dear," she murmured softly and meant it 
with all her heart. She was sure she'd never felt such sympathy, 
such tenderness and such affection for anyone before. She pressed 
her breasts against him, pulled his head down and opened her 
mouth to his. 

At first he kissed her perfunctorily, not even responding to her 
thrusting tongue; but as she weighted herself more persistendy 
against him, determined to ease his hurt in the only way she knew, 
his mouth became alive and he gripped her convulsively to him. 

"Thomas dear," she whispered when her lips were free again, 
"I beg you to ask the new preacher who has come to give the first 
reading of the banns this Sunday." 

Abruptly his fingers stopped kneading the flesh along her back- 
bone. "Bless you, Heather, my darling. I'm deeply grateful to you 
for suggesting that; but I must clear my name o this calumny 
before I bestow it upon you." 

"But, Thomas, I don't care one whit whether your name is clear 
of this calumny before you bestow it upon me. I'll be proud to 
bear it, cleared or uncleared." 

"Thank you, Heather, but I can't allow it." 

She argued the matter hotly for some minutes; but Thomas was 
adamant. He must go to England first, he declared, and argue his 
innocence before the Trustees of Georgia. 

"How long, my dearest, will you be gone?" Heather asked. 

"Only long enough to reach London, explain my side of the 
accusation and return to Savannah." He held her close for a mo- 
ment. "Then, with my name cleared of this ugly suspicion, we will 
be wed." 

However, he was unable to book passage on a ship for many 
weeks. There was a dearth of sailings. Impatient, restless and bit- 
ter, he abandoned altogether working on the land and spent his 
days at Jenkins*, rehashing over and over his and the Colony's 
grievances and drinking much too much. 

177 



Heather was very troubled about him and spent more time than 
she could well spare from her duties, trying to reassure him of her 
devotion and her belief in his innocence. 

Colonel Stephens was even more troubled than Heather. He was 
in an agony of conflicting emotions. He longed to go straight to 
James Oglethorpe and urge him to reconsider his accusation against 
Thomas, and yet he hesitated to do it for fear the General would 
take it amiss and remove him from the secretaryship. Torn be- 
tween his love for Thomas and his horror at becoming unemployed 
again, he grew extremely nervous and even more talkative than 
was his wont, 

"For Thomas to be mistreated after all the pains he has taken," 
was his complaint to Heather whenever they were alone, though 
he changed the words a little each time. "As you are acquainted, 
my dear, he has worked often with his own hands. No servant, 
not even the best of them, could put in a day's labor equal to what 
that boy put in. And now " His thin, blue-veined hands flew up 
like the fringed ends of a scarf in a breeze. "I can't persuade him to 
show any interest whatever in the planting or anything else." 

"Nor can I," she murmured, patting his arm. Heather didn't 
admire Colonel Stephens' timidity; if she had been in his shoes, she 
would have certainly spoken out; nevertheless, her heart was full 
of sympathy for him. 

Finally, in August, Thomas was admitted as a passenger on a 
brig, the St. Francis, bound directly for Portsmouth. 

The afternoon that he stepped into the small boat that would take 
him to the brig at the mouth of the river, practically the whole 
of Savannah was on the Bluff, but only Heather, Colonel Ste- 
phens, Truly and Bobby were there to bid him farewell. The other 
hundred or so were gathered to watch the hanging of the master 
of a ship and two of his seamen, convicted of beating to death a 
fellow mate and throwing him overboard. 

The gallows was in full view, having been built according to the 
orders of the Magistrates on the edge of the Bluff as close as possible 
to the spot where the slain man was washed ashore. Drawn up on 
both sides of the gallows were seventy freeholders, fully accoutered. 
Bobby spotted Jason directly behind the drummer and bawled, 

178 



"Hello, Papa," at the top o his voice, but Jason gave no indication 
that he heard him. 

The ship's master tripped even more nimbly than the hangman 
up the steps of the gallows and, with a burst o bravado, attached 
the rope to the beam himself. Heather buried her face against 
Thomas' arm as the master announced in a steady voice that he was 
satisfied to die and William Norris, the new minister, prayed 
briefly for his soul. Then there was a horrifying silence Heather 
never moved a muscle or breathed and then a howl from the 
crowd as if a hurricane were blowing and she realized that the 
fellow's feet dangled and his head hung limp. 

She continued to hide her eyes, but Bobby, tugging at her sleeve, 
never let her miss a move. Excitedly, he squealed, "The second 
murderer is now climbing the ladder and he doesn't look brave 
one whit. He's scared as a little old rabbit." 

Above Bobby's chatter, Heather heard the man sobbing, "I hown 
myself to 'ave been a very wicked man and hit's God's hown 
vengeance that 'as hovertaken me. Me that's a poor, poor sinner." 

Heather sobbed, too, against the rough serge of Thomas's sleeve. 
How could the Magistrates hang such a penitent creature? Why 
didn't Henry or somebody stop the hangman? 

Then the second man was gone and it was the turn of the third 
man. His wails tore the sultry air: thin, high, terrified, despairing 
wails. Heather stuffed her fingers in her ears and when Bobby 
tried to pull them away, she slapped him across the face with her 
fan. She felt as desperate as the prisoner. She wanted to scream, too. 
Scream and beat her head on the posts of the gallows. And her 
insides did scream, for when she finally lifted her head, she was 
soaking wet, yet shaking as if she had a chill. 

But shocking to see, there were only two bodies swinging against 
the scorched, yellow-blue sky. 

"Where be the third one?" she gasped, dabbing at her temples. 

"I've been trying to tell you, but you wouldn't listen," Bobby 
shouted indignantly. "They didn't hang that last chap. They got 
him right to the ladder, him screaming and pulling back like a 
horse from fire, and then they didn't hang him." 

"He was reprieved by a prearrangement," Colonel Stephens ex- 

179 



plained, assuming the air o importance he always did when he had 
knowledge that others did not. "You see the Magistrates met this 
morning to consider further this fellow's testimony, for they were 
inclined to believe that he was not the one who actually gave the 
wounds to the deceased, as he was sick and weak at the time, 
though by the law he was undoubtedly guilty, being privy to it and 
not discovering it to the authorities." The colonel rested to catch 
his breath and mop the moisture that had gathered in his concaved 
cheeks and beneath his forward-thrusting chin. 

"Consequently, all those circumstances being once more debated, 
pity prevailed, the Magistrates arguing that if 'twas an error to 
show mercy, 'twas an error on the best side of the question. Where- 
fore, it was resolved to reprieve him for two months, in which time 
we might expect the General again, who would direct what further 
he saw proper about it." 

Oh, blood and wounds, thought Heather, who, in spite of being 
relieved that the man's life was spared for the present, was dis- 
gusted that General Oglethorpe was to be asked to settle whether a 
seaman had murdered another seaman. Couldn't the Magistrates 
shoulder their own responsibilities in such matters? Why drag 
General Oglethorpe into it? No wonder General Oglethorpe 
jumped to wrong conclusions as he had done in Thomas's case, not 
to mention the case of Georgia. 

"However," Colonel Stephens continued, "the Magistrates or- 
dered that the reprieve should not be announced till the very min- 
ute the fellow was to hang, whereby they thought it possible that 
he might make a fuller confession than he has yet done." 

Boisterously the crowd began to follow the prisoner back to the 
stinking little log-house jail. The prisoner's bare feet danced a jig 
through the hot, loose sand and he tossed his head this way and 
that, whooping and laughing hysterically. 

"My, my, such an excessive return and flow of spirits might lose 
him his life, yet," said Colonel Stephens dryly; then sighing heavily 
as if he had just remembered the sad errand that had brought him 
to the Bluff, he started across the rickety wharf that Andrew 
Duchee had completed, though how long it would stand was very 
doubtful as he had not used the proper piles to steady it in the soft 

180 



river bottom. Heavy-footed, Heather followed with Thomas, Truly 
and Bobby. 

Abruptly Colonel Stephens' conversation dried up and he made 
no further effort to hide the desolation that gripped him. His deep 
affection for Thomas, which had intensified since James Ogle- 
thorpe's accusation, coupled to his sense of guilt in not standing up 
for him publicly, made this parting almost unbearable. 

At the edge of the wharf, he put his trembling hands on Thomas's 
shoulders, drew him against him, pressed his lips to his forehead 
and then, without a word, turned away. He couldn't bear to watch 
the boat drop out of sight. 

Next, Heather put her arms around Thomas and he his around 
her, and enclosed in this tight embrace, she began to cry softly. At 
last, though, she lifted her head and, smiling tenderly, gave him 
her mouth, moist with her tears. Then she ran after Colonel 
Stephens. 

"Ill miss him, Heather," the old gentleman said in tones falsely 
casual as she caught up with him. 

"Ill miss him too, sir; but it won't be for long." She wormed her 
small hand into his thin, bony, crisp one. 

He drew in a deep breath and expelled it slowly. "Let us pray 
you are right, my child." 

Resolutely Heather threw up her head and saw directly above her, 
swaying slightly, the half-naked, stiffening bodies of the two crimi- 
nals. A shiver ran through her. They seemed a sinister omen. 



181 



XVI 



THE days of August, after Thomas left, passed slowly for 
Heather. She had one note from him on board the St. Francis at 
Tybee, telling her that at the time he was writing they were 
"weighing anchor in order to put to sea with a fair wind," and 
then, of course, she had no hope of another message for at least six 
months. 

With Thomas no longer requiring the outpouring of her sym- 
pathy and love, she needed to work ceaselessly on the land, but the 
weather frustrated her. It rained in such drenching sheets she could 
not go outside the house without getting soaked and so, like one 
of the panthers that appeared now and then in the Georgia woods, 
she paced nervously from room to room, worrying about the rows 
of corn which were assuredly beaten down to the ground, the ears 
in reach of squirrels, rabbits, turkeys and all the other animals and 
varmints that infested the hot, steaming land. 

She couldn't be of any help to Colonel Stephens and Jason either. 
They were busily studying the Store's daybooks and ledgers, inter- 
viewing sundry people and step by step building up a case against 
Thomas Causton. Nor did Bobby need her. He seemed always to 
be excited and busy with some new game or scheme. 

Then one day, after she'd been for a short walk between rains, 
she returned home to find Truly crumpled on the bed, her florid 
face even more flushed than customary. 

Heather rushed to her and laid her hand on her forehead; it felt 
hot and dry. "Mama, darling, do you hurt anywhere? Do you have 
pains in your stomach?" 

"Yes, my stomach hurts me somewhat, but I don't hurt any one 
place to a high degree." Truly spoke listlessly, turning her head 
from side to side. 

182 



Fear shook Heather. She was afraid this was the quick-running, 
deadly fever that now and then swept Savannah. She should get 
word to Jason at Colonel Stephens' and to Bobby at school. She 
needed help; this fever mounted very fast and she should begin 
immediately to fight it. 

First, she must pour a pint and a half of cold water down Truly 
as she lay flat on her back. That might make her vomit and relieve 
the uneasiness of her stomach. Then cold packs on her head might 
bring the fever down. Then there was that powder she knew how 
to concoct; but she didn't have all the ingredients. She needed eight 
ounces of niter, a quarter of an ounce of camphor, an eighth of an 
ounce of saffron and eight grains of cochineal. 

She wrote the items down; then rushed to the front door and 
peered along Duke Street and down Drayton. A few cows, pigs, 
hens and geese were the only living things in sight. She shut the 
door quickly to keep out the damp air and dashed into the back 
yard to scream for Sarah Milledge. Almost instantly Sarah appeared 
in the doorway, wiping her hands on her apron. "What is it, Miss 
Heather?" she called in her high, young girl's voice, starting down 
the path to the alley. 

"Don't come any closer, Sarah," Heather urged, running to her 
own back fence. "My mother is down with the fever and I'd be 
much obliged if you would go to the apothecary shop for me." 

"I'll be only too glad to." Her big gray eyes were clouded with 
anxiety. 

Holding the paper across the fence to her, Heather said, "I've 
written it all down, Sarah. You just give this paper to Dr. Tailfer 
or, if he's not there, to the clerk in the shop." 

"Yes, ma'am," and she was off, splashing heedlessly through the 
puddles with her dirty bare feet. 

Before Heather even hoped for her return, she was back, rapping 
on the front door, and when Heather answered it gasped out, "The 
clerk had to fill the order, ma'am, for Dr. Tailfer has gone to 
Charles Town for a fortnight." 

"Oh no!" Heather cried out. "Not to Charles Town?" 

"Yes, ma'am." 

Heather slapped her hand to her head. "What shall we do if my 
mother grows worse?" 

183 



She wasn't actually speaking to Sarah; nevertheless, the young 
girl answered solemnly, 'Terhaps, ma'am, you could call the Jew 
surgeon, Dr. Nunez." 

"But we've never had Dr. Nunez in the house," Heather argued 
excitedly. "He might be offended and refuse to come. Jews are very 
sensitive people, you know. He " 

Abruptly she realized there was no time for such speculating. In 
a rush, she said, "Sarah, thank you kindly for running the errand 
for me. I must now get back to Mama." 

Finding Truly quiet, her eyes closed, Heather hurried to the 
kitchen, dumped the ingredients into a bowl and began to mash 
them with the back of a pewter spoon. Maybe these powders would 
halt the fever and there would be no necessity of calling in Dr. 
Nunez. She felt no prejudice toward him; nor did Truly and 
Jason, but somehow they had always had Dr. Tailfer. Dr. Nunez, 
she was sure, was a good surgeon. He had arrived with a shipload 
of Spanish Jews the first summer after Savannah was founded, at 
the height of the terrible epidemic, and he had done such valiant 
service that James Oglethorpe had allowed him and his fellow Jews 
to remain, though the Charter specifically forbade both Jews and 
Catholics to settle in Georgia. Pulverizing the last lumps, Heather 
thanked her stars that he was in Savannah now. 

As soon as she had administered a dose of the powders to Truly, 
she began putting wet rags on Truly's forehead and she continued 
putting them on for the next three hours. Then she administered 
another dose of the powders. But neither the wet packs nor the 
powders had any noticeable effect. By dusk Truly was delirious, 
raving wildly. She needed Dr. Nunez immediately. What was hold- 
ing up Bobby and Jason, Heather wondered frantically. Usually 
they were home long before this. She couldn't leave Truly to go 
herself and fetch Dr. Nunez and yet she didn't see how she could 
send Sarah on such an errand when they had never had him before. 

Truly moaned and tossed, her dark red hair, wet with water from 
the compresses, looking drab and already matted against the bolster. 
"Mommie darling," Heather murmured again and again as she 
beat her lips with a clenched hand. "Mommie darling, please don't 
hurt so. ... Please . . . please . . ." 

184 



Heather decided she couldn't wait any longer to send for Dr. 
Nunez. Again she rushed to the back door and screamed for Sarah, 
but this time John Milledge answered her. He was turning in his 
back gate with a pair of oxen that James Oglethorpe had given him 
on his last Savannah visit. 

"Will I do, ma'am?" he shouted to her. "I believe Sarah is dress- 
ing the victuals for supper." 

"Please, John, come here a minute." 

Awkwardly he struggled through the gate, bringing the oxen 
with him, and stood bareheaded, his cambric shirt soaked with rain 
and smeared with mud. He had an intelligent, alert face, with a 
very high coloring, grape-blue eyes, and hair that was brown except 
for the streaks the sun had dyed through it. 

He laid his hand on the rump of the ox nearest him as he peered 
up at Heather. The oxen were branded with the initials J.M., 
Heather noted in spite of her agitation. John was taking no chances 
on somebody stealing them from him or finding them grazing in 
the woods and claiming them for his own. 

Hurriedly she explained to John her reason for calling him and 
promptly he turned, tied the oxen in the alley, and raced away. 

While he was still in sight, Jason and Bobby came in and 
Heather, fighting back sobs, told them of Truly's illness. They 
understood the seriousness of it at once but did not become alarmed 
until John came back with the news that Dr. Nunez was away, too. 
He had been caught by the rains at his distant forty-five-acre plot 
where he had grape vineyards. 

Jason and Bobby fell stonily quiet but Heather, out of hearing 
distance of Truly, burst into wild weeping. "Nobody should live 
where there are no surgeons/' she wailed, her gold eyes burning 
with pain and fear. "It's criminal, wicked, wrong. . . ." 

Jason put his arms about her and pulled her against him. "I 
know, kitten, but 'tis no one's fault. Dr. Tailfer and Dr. Nunez 
didn't know Truly would be taken ill." 

"What difference does it make whether it's anyone's fault?" she 
stormed. "The point is we need a doctor." 

Jason held her more closely to him. "Lookee, kitten, don't allow 
yourself to get so upset. That's not the way to help your mother." 

185 



"Yes, Papa," she said with unusual docility and in a few minutes, 
outwardly composed, went back into Truly's room and began 
changing once more the cloths on her head. 

The high fever and delirium continued all night as Heather sat 
by the side of the bed, faithfully laying on fresh packs. Frequently 
her hands lingered about Truly's face, smoothing the hair away 
from her temples and running the back of her fingers lovingly 
across the hot cheeks. She kept praying the cheeks would feel 
cooler; but when morning came they were hotter than ever. 

"I'm going to hire a horse," Jason announced when he had had 
his breakfast of cheese, biscuits and beer, "and try to make it to 
Dr. Nunez's place. No doubt I'll have to swim a few creeks; but 
don't fret about me, kitten; I'll get there." 

Then turning to Bobby he said, "You must be the man of the 
house, lad, until I return. You must keep plenty of cool water for 
the packs." 

All day Truly's body burned as if a fire were kindled inside of it. 
Her eyes sunk deeper into her head, her lips grew parched and her 
tongue swelled. "Here, Mommie darling, have some water," 
Heather whispered over and over, raising Truly's head a little so 
her lips could reach the cup. However, most of the water trickled 
down her chin. 

Anne paid two visits, suggesting a different remedy each time. 
The first time, discordium; the second, Indian root. Henry and 
Colonel Stephens came, too, and Rachael Ure walked past the 
door several times, staring at it as if she would like to come in but 
wasn't sure she would be welcome. 

The next day was practically the same. Heather was now work- 
ing in a nightmare, mechanically changing the packs as soon as 
they felt warm and spooning the powders every three hours past 
the cracked, bleeding lips. 

Where were Jason and Dr. Nunez? Why didn't they come? 
Surely by now they could have swum all the rivers and creeks in 
south Georgia. Perhaps Jason had drowned, Heather thought once; 
but her mind was already too burdened with fear to comprehend 
the tragicness of that possibility. And should she give Truly dis- 
cordium and Indian root as Anne suggested? No doubt, she should 
try everything. Everything! 

186 



All that night she remained by the bedside, though Anne and 
Rachael, who finally screwed up the courage to come in, urged her 
to lie down and rest. "I can nurse, I've had a sufficiency of experi- 
ence," Anne said and her grass-green eyes took on that shiny, queer 
look they always had when she recalled the illness of her two little 
boys. 

"Heather, why don't you come to bed in the loft with me?" 
invited Bobby. "You wanta?" 

"No, Bobby dear, I don't wanta." 

So she was up and wide-awake when at midnight Jason and Dr. 
Nunez walked into the room. Then suddenly, her knees felt weak 
and began to fold up beneath her; but Jason put a hand on her 
elbow and said quietly, "Steady, kitten. Dr. Nunez will want to 
ask you some questions." 

Dr. Nunez had a narrow, intelligent face with huge velvety 
black eyes. Massaging the fingers of one hand in the palm of the 
other, he questioned Heather about her treatment of the case; then 
went into the sickroom and examined Truly. 

When he had finished, he commended Heather briskly. "You've 
been a first-rate nurse," he said. "Plenty of cool water to drink and 
cold applications on her head are exactly what I would have recom- 
mended if I had been here. Continue them. But the patient also 
needs cold baths. Nothing drastic, you understand, just lots of cool 
water outside as well as inside." 

The fourth day dragged by with little change. Then the fifth. 
Then the sixth. The next day would be the crisis if the fever fol- 
lowed its usual course. 

"Oh God!" Heather prayed, hammering her lips. "Oh, dear God 
. . . Oh, dear God . . ." She never finished the plea. Certainly God 
knew what her heart cried out. 

Early next morning the crisis did come. After an hour of short, 
loud, harsh gasps for breath that could be heard all over the house, 
there was a silence more frightening than sound, and Truly was 
dead. 

Heather was overwhelmed with regrets. She had never shown 
Truly, she told herself bitterly, how deeply she admired and loved 
her. Truly had always seemed so self-sufficient, so in command of 
every situation that Heather had felt no need to reassure her of her 

187 



almost worshipful devotion. This omission now hurt her terribly. 

Also she felt absolutely lost. She was so accustomed to Truly tell- 
ing her, as well as Jason and Bobby, what to do under all circum- 
stances that she didn't see how she could possibly go on without her 
guiding hand. 

In a daze she went through the preparations for the funeral and 
the funeral service, but when she returned from the Burying 
Ground and saw the white, stricken faces of Jason and Bobby she 
put aside her own grief to comfort them. 

Jason particularly was pitiful to see. He groaned that in spite of 
his and Truly's frequent bickerings, he had always adored her and 
didn't want to live without her. He stopped working on Thomas 
Causton's accounts, he stopped dropping in at the taverns to read 
the London papers and he stopped discussing what new things he 
would plant the coming fall. He simply sat in the kitchen in abject 
silence, his features frozen and his crossed leg and foot swinging 
nervously up and down. 

He even refused to eat. Heather tried to tempt him with Ogee- 
chee shad, crab stew and field corn, but after a few bites he shook 
his head and shoved his chair far back from the table as if the table 
itself were distasteful to him. Then she bought a goose from 
Joseph, sprinkled the stuffing with raisins, and served it with stewed 
plums, but still he shook his head. Finally, though, Colonel Ste- 
phens invited him to share a small piece of fresh meat and this was 
such an unusual treat after the months of salt pork he ate every 
morsel of it. 

Encouraged, Heather asked him the next afternoon, when the 
rain held up for a brief spell, "Shall we take a walk about the 
town?" Then, mimicking Bobby, she added, "You wanta?" 

"Yes, I wanta/' he answered, nodding his head and smiling 
slightly. 

That very afternoon the cutter, with General Oglethorpe aboard, 
stopped at Savannah for food and supplies and Bart heard, along 
with other news, of Truly's death and, though he had no liking for 
Truly, he was genuinely saddened for he knew Heather must be 
deeply grieved; but his mind didn't rest consciously on the matter 

188 



long; it was too occupied with the many details of the journey that 
lay ahead. 

He was on his way with James Oglethorpe to Coweta Town, 
300 miles from the seacoast, in the heart of the Creek nation, to 
attend an assembly of Indian leaders. It was an exceedingly danger- 
ous journey and an extremely fatiguing one in the terrible heat and 
rains of August; however, Bart was pleased that the Georgia leader 
had ordered him to accompany him. 

James Oglethorpe had decided to make the trip only after long 
weeks of debate with Indian chiefs and officers of his own Regi- 
ment. All summer he had been receiving advices that the Spaniards 
were trying to bribe the Indians, especially the Creek nation, to 
turn against the English and that they were making considerable 
headway because of the arrogant and disorderly conduct of the 
English traders who were traveling among them without licenses 
either from Georgia or Carolina. 

As early as May he had sent William Horton to Pipers Bluff to 
urge Mary and Tomochichi to hasten to Frederica to discuss the 
situation with him. They had come and visited with him for many 
days; but their only suggestion in the end was for the General him- 
self to go into the nation and speak to the headmen. 

Then Malachee, son of the famous Brim, whom the Spaniards 
called the Emperor of the Creeks, and Chigilly, the king of Coweta, 
came and promised the Georgia leader that if he would come to 
Coweta all the chiefs of the Lower Creeks and of the Cousees and 
Talapousees, who were Upper Creeks, and also deputies from the 
Choctaws and Chickasaws would gather there to meet him. 

"I don't look forward to the trip," James Oglethorpe had con- 
fided to Bart on one of their frequent journeys between Frederica 
and the southern forts. "It is no light matter to travel hundreds of 
miles into an unknown country among Indian nations to whom the 
Spaniards have sent great presents and would give even much 
larger ones for my head, but I've come to the conclusion 'tis neces- 
sary that I make it. In case of war with Spain, I figure seven thou- 
sand fighting men depend upon the outcome of the meeting. The 
Creeks can furnish fifteen hundred warriors; the Chickasaws five 
hundred; and the Choctaws five thousand.*' 



The decision to make the trip had seemed even more justified 
when he received a letter from the Trustees' accountant, Mr. Verelst, 
informing him that Parliament had considered the Trustees' latest 
application for money and had voted 20,000 pounds for further 
settling and improving the Colony and closing with a warm tribute 
to the Georgia leader's endeavors. His eyes and voice revealing his 
satisfaction, James Oglethorpe read the lines to Bart: " 'The Trus- 
tees cannot but take notice how much the public is indebted to you, 
sir, for the great zeal which you have shown for supporting the 
Colony in its emergencies, even at the expense of your own for- 
tune.' " 

So he had set out in high spirits on the first leg of the journey 
that had brought him as far as Savannah. Bart, too, had been in 
high spirits but now, as he checked off supplies as they came 
aboard, he was aware of a heaviness in his chest. Several times he 
breathed deeply to try to rid himself of it and once he even stopped 
the checking to consider why he felt this unhappy way and remem- 
bered Heather's bereavement. "Poor lass," he murmured to himself. 
"Poor lass, she must be that heartbroken." 

Shortly one of the boatmen bringing on bags of rice shouted, 
"That's all of it, Captain," and Bart had a brief respite until the 
next man appeared with the kegs of oatmeal. Sighing again, he 
laid down the sheets of paper beneath a coil of rope on the bulk- 
head, removed his cap, smoothed back his hair to the black bow at 
the nape of his neck and glanced casually toward the high rim of 
land silhouetted against the gray, rain-filled sky. 

With a start he saw Heather and Jason standing there. Immedi- 
ately, he put his cap back on, swung across the gangplank, climbed 
the old, rickety stairs and walked toward them. He felt no hesita- 
tion about what he was going to do; under the circumstances it 
seemed the only polite way to act. 

Reaching Jason, he again took off his cap, tucked it beneath his 
arm and, with his face as stiff as a mask, put out his hand. "Sir, 
may I extend my sympathy in the untimely decease of Mrs. For- 
syth?" 

"I thank you, Captain," Jason said evenly, taking his hand. 

Then Bart stepped in front of Heather. His face was still stiff, 
but his eyes as they met hers and held them for a long moment 

190 



were warm with sympathy. "Heather, I'm that sorry for you," he 
said soberly. "I'm sensible of the devotion you had for your mother 
and I know her passing is a real blow to you." 

"It is that, sir," she murmured with trembling lips. 

Without another word Bart turned, ran lightly down the stairs 
and swung himself aboard the cutter. Heather watched him 
through welling tears, then slipped her arm through Jason's and 
started him moving in step with her toward home. 

When the cutter sailed, it was heavily loaded. In addition to 
James Oglethorpe, Bart and the crew, two other officers and a half- 
dozen domestics and menial servants were aboard. They went by 
water to Ebenezer, a distance of about twenty-five miles, and there 
they were met by a party of twenty-five Highlanders and Creeks, 
riding horses and a dozen pack horses to carry the baggage and 
presents for the Indian chiefs and warriors. 

The journey was hard from the very beginning. Though the 
rains held up for the first few days, the sun beat down mercilessly 
and no air stirred through the jungle-thick growth. Steadily, how- 
ever, they forged ahead until they reached the formidable barrier of 
the wide Ogeechee River. Brownish-black as strong beer, it flowed 
swiftly and deep between tree-massed banks. 

The riders were able to swim their horses across; but the pack 
horses were too heavily laden to risk it, so an Indian, with the 
official title of Pack-horse Man, aided by other Indians, transferred 
the baggage to a leather canoe which, between rivers, he carried 
folded like a blanket beneath his saddle. 

As the sun was near setting by the time all the baggage was over, 
James Oglethorpe ordered a halt for the night. Though most of the 
party took advantage of the hour of daylight still remaining to 
swim, fish, search for honey in the hollows of the sweet gums and 
to barbecue a venison, Bart stretched himself flat upon the ground 
and rested. He was terribly sore from the long days in the saddle 
and, worse still, he was so chafed the skin between his stout legs 
was blood-raw. He sweated continuously. His leather breeches and 
even his saddle stayed soaked with sweat. 

After leaving the Ogeechee, the land rolled into gentle hills and 
wide valleys. The live oaks, cypresses and haws thinned out and 

191 



maples, pin oaks > hickories, sycamores and sugarberries thickened. 
It was new country to James Oglethorpe and he moved more cau- 
tiously. At the crests o rises he studied through his glasses all the 
visible land ahead. One evening he saw a billowing smoke on a 
distant slope and pointed it out to his officers. 

"Spaniards, no doubt," he said. "Indians would be more secretive. 
I suspect they have been sent out from Augustine to stop me from 
reaching Coweta." 

That night the men slung their saddles, which served as pillows, 
closer together and the guard was doubled. A horse with harness 
o Spanish make did show up; but no Spaniards. 

From then on, the Georgia leader pushed himself and all the 
party without mercy. Across the Oconee River they hurried and 
across the hills and valleys between the Oconee and Ocmulgee, and 
across the Ocmulgee, and finally they came to rest one night along 
the rivulet the Indians called the Dollus. 

It had been raining hard all day and the woods were noisy with 
dripping water and wind blowing in quick, short gusts through the 
treetops; yet just a little before midnight Bart detected a new 
sound, His heart quickened and his limbs tensed. Of course, it 
could be a herd of buffalo moving some distance away; he had seen 
several herds of sixty or more during the past few days. However, 
there was a stealthiness about the sound like soft, cautious, light- 
stepping human feet. 

Swiftly he unrolled himself from his blanket, but before he could 
get to his feet Indian whoops wailed above the wind. "Christ 
Crucified," he muttered. Even Spaniards would be better than 
enemy Indians. At least he thought so at that moment. 

Then the Creeks right beside him began to whoop and he under- 
stood that those who were coming were friends. They had been sent 
as a guard of honor to escort James Oglethorpe the rest of the way 
to the rendezvous. 

The final day before they reached their destination., they found 
tied to the low branches of trees along the path strings of cakes and 
bags of flour. They camped that evening just two miles away from 
the meeting place. 

They would move early the next morning, the General said; but 
at dawn innumerable Indian boys and girls swarmed down upon 
192 



them, laden with wild turkeys, partridges, venison, pompions, pota- 
toes, watermelons and many other eatable items, and delayed them. 
Fresh fires had to be built and as much food as they could possibly 
eat had to be cooked. It was four hours later when they set out for 
Coweta, 

A short distance from the town they were met by Chigilly and 
Malachee and other chiefs and warriors. Quickly James Oglethorpe 
dismounted and ordered all his men to dismount and stand at atten- 
tion. Carrying the English colors in his hands, Chigilly approached 
and saluted and the Georgia leader and his officers returned the 
salute. 

These formalities out of the way, Chigilly took General Ogle- 
thorpe by the arm as if he was an old, dear friend and propelled 
him into the town. Bart, following, smiled at the picture they made 
the Indian chief naked, except for a couple of strings of bright 
blue beads about his neck and a narrow cloth twisted about his 
loins, and the General dressed in his best uniform, his fighting 
sword swinging at his side. 

However Malachee was handsomer, Bart decided, than either 
Chigilly or General Oglethorpe. He was a few inches short of six 
feet, broad-shouldered, big-chested, small-waisted and long-legged. 
Absolutely perfect, Bart thought, glancing down at his own sturdy 
figure of medium height. And what a head Malachee had! Clear- 
cut features, broad brow and large, black, intelligent eyes. He 
looked like an emperor and someday he would be one. He had 
been too young when Brim died to inherit his power, so the old 
men of the nation had elected Chigilly to rule in his place. 

On reaching the square in the center o the town, Chigilly led 
James Oglethorpe to some logs covered with bearskins and gestured 
to him and his party to be seated. Then he and the other chiefs, 
whooping raucously enough to burst the eardrums, offered them 
conk shells filled with tea black as ink. It was no new drink to 
Bart. He had had it in Indian country before. It was made by boil- 
ing the leaves of a common shrub that he called "casena." 

Sipping it leisurely, Bart gazed about him and concluded this 
town differed very little from the Indian towns around Savannah. 
The huts were built of sticks held together with clay and moss and 
they extended around all four sides of the square. They didn't 

193 



make his eyes blink, though,, like the huts close to the coast that 
were whitewashed with a mixture o powdered oyster shells and 
water; these had a restful, rain-washed look. 

A little way from the circle of men squatted several squaws, 
attired only in petticoats that reached from their waists to their 
knees. They were preparing dinner, he surmised and felt a little 
sick, for he was still full from the morning's gorging. One squaw 
was pounding corn in a hollowed-out stock of a tree and another 
was sifting the corn already pounded through a sieve fashioned of 
reeds. Heather would like a sieve like that, he mused; then caught 
himself. What Heather would or wouldn't like was no longer any 
concern of his. Still another squaw was dressing venison in large 
pans made of clay that were very similar to the beehives of the 
English countryside. 

Bart was right they were cooking dinner and shortly Chigilly 
escorted the party to his hut and forced more food upon them. 
"Damme," Bart muttered, rubbing both spread hands over his 
stomach that was tight as a drum. "A few more days of eating like 
this and I will be able to live off my fat." 



194 



XVII 



THE news that England had declared war with Spain broke 
upon Savannah on September 8th, 1739. It was brought by the mas- 
ter o a sloop from Rhode Island who claimed he heard it straight 
from the Tartar Pm\ that sailed out of England on June i7th by 
the order of the British government especially to inform the Ameri- 
can Colonies of this turn of events. 

The Tartar Pint's first stop had been Boston. From there she had 
sent packets by messenger overland to Connecticut, Rhode Island 
and New York and then had sailed, so the master of the sloop had 
understood, directly for South Carolina and Georgia. He was sur- 
prised that she had not arrived at Savannah before him. 

" 'Twas Jenkins 1 ear what finally brought Sir Robert around," the 
master announced importantly, rocking to and fro on his bowed 
legs. "Where Jenkins has been all these years with that bloody ear 
nobody knows. Notwithstanding, he appeared in London with it 
this spring and set the whole country afire. Sir Robert was still 
steadfast against war, for he said England was not fitten for it, but 
the people bellowed him down; they were utterly berserked for a 
fight." 

Heather wouldn't believe the news. She hurried to Colonel Ste- 
phens. "Do you credit this intelligence, sir?" she asked. 

"No, my child, I do not." He shook his bony head. "If it were 
so, surely England would have sent the word first to Georgia, which 
is the Colony most involved and the one most likely to bear the 
brunt of the fighting." 

"Of course she would have, sir." Heather's whole face, sparked 
by her excited gold eyes, was aflame. "It appears to me fantastic to 
think otherwise. But what, sir, is this business about Jenkins' ear? 
I never heard tell of it." 

195 



"Well, that's clear enough," the Secretary said, his countenance 
brightening at this opportunity to expound his knowledge. "You 
see. Heather, England by treaty has had the right to send each year 
one ship of rather large tonnage with goods for the golden coast 
of South America 'tis the Spanish Main, as you know but she 
also sent along many little auxiliary ships, which secretly loaded the 
big ship by night, almost ruining the trade of Spain. So the Span- 
iards began searching every little English ship and in 1731 they 
boarded the ship Rebecca and hacked off the ear of the skipper, 
Jenkins by name, and told him to take it to his King." 

Colonel Stephens swept his mouth from the corners inward with 
his thumb and forefinger. "As you can readily understand, my 
child, Jenkins hastened to Court with his gruesome burden and 
harangued for war with Spain; but at that time England was so 
pacific, he could not get the ministers or people to listen to him. 
Now, though, seven years later, mark you, if this intelligence of 
war is correct, he has wrought his way. This struggle may even go 
down in history as the War of Jenkins 9 Ear." A faint gleam of 
amusement stirred briefly in his blue eyes. 

"It doesn't make sense to me," Heather said emphatically. "I still 
don't believe it." 

"Nor, as I told you, do I." 

A few days later, however, they were convinced it was so when 
the master of the sloop signed a solemn affidavit, testifying to his 
veracity. 

Heather was even more shocked than she had been by Truly's 
death. Ever since the founding of Georgia she had been contending 
that the Spaniards in Florida would never fight their English neigh- 
bors or vice versa; that the two could live in peace side by side; and 
now England and Spain on the other side of the ocean had taken 
it out of the hands of their colonies and forced a war upon them. 
The colonies were just pawns to be moved as the mother nations 
saw fit. 

No doubt James Oglethorpe, even before the settlement of Savan- 
nah, had been aware that this war was inevitable and that Georgia 
would be the battleground in America and so had decided to throw 
in his lot with her and secure himself a place in history. But if he 
had been aware of it, shouldn't he at least have told those whom 
196 



he brought over that he was planting them in the path of an in- 
vading army? 

If he had told them of the danger and they had still chosen to 
come, then they would have been prepared to suffer unprotestingly 
the handicapping restrictions, for no matter what other reasons 
James Oglethorpe gave for the necessity of these laws, the two most 
obnoxious ones did try to guarantee a man on every fifty acres of 
settled land and to prevent a Negro revolt in a time of crisis. Of 
course, a few selfish people might still have objected to the restric- 
tions; but the majority, Heather was confident, would have ac- 
cepted them graciously if they had realized the security of the 
Colony was at stake. 

Heather rubbed her finger excitedly across her upper lip. Oh, if 
they had only known from the beginning that James Oglethorpe's 
main objective in settling Georgia was to build a bulwark against 
the Spaniards instead of a haven for broken-down tradesmen and 
persecuted Protestants! . . . But, then, maybe, it wasn't originally 
his main objective. Her forehead creased into wrinkles. Maybe his 
objective had changed after he came to Georgia the first time. 

Then she thought of Bart. As close as he was to James Ogle- 
thorpe he had undoubtedly known too that the war was inevitable 
and had considered her a naive fool when she argued otherwise. No 
wonder he had resented so bitterly her criticisms when he under- 
stood all along that the Georgia leader was doing everything in his 
power to prepare the Colony for a struggle that was bound to come. 

She pressed her hands to her cheeks. How tragic to have quar- 
reled and fallen out with Bart over such a false issue. Though she 
still felt no warmth for James Oglethorpe, she must someday tell 
Bart that she realized she had been wrong in refusing to acknowl- 
edge the possibility of war and the justice of the steps that James 
Oglethorpe had taken to strengthen Georgia. Of course, at this late 
hour it wouldn't change their relationship. Bart by now assuredly 
had another "lass." It wouldn't be natural if he hadn't. Then, of 
course, she had Thomas. She must never, never forget that she 
loved Thomas very much and was engaged to be married to him. 

In spite o her shock at the declaration of war, she took a keen 
interest in all the new developments. Francis Moore, who was tak- 
ing a vacation in Savannah while James Oglethorpe was in the 

197 



Indian nations, left abruptly to carry the war report to Frederica 
and the forts farther south; a Charles Townian, also coming for a 
Georgia holiday, turned immediately back to spread the word 
through South Carolina; and Colonel Stephens dispatched an 
Indian trader to locate James Oglethorpe and give him the news. 

Then before these three were scarcely out of sight, a messenger 
arrived with a packet from the government at Charles Town, 
announcing that South Carolina was in graver danger from the 
enemy inside its borders than from the Spanish in Florida. Their 
Negro slaves were in revolt. 

"A big band of 'em gathered last Saturday night at the little 
town of Stone, between Charles Town and Port Royal," the mes- 
senger elaborated excitedly to a crowd in front of the butcher shop 
where Heather was trying to buy some kidneys for Jason's and 
Bobby's dinner. "They kilt two men in charge of the military depot 
and stole all the arms., ammunition, drums, colors, everything." 

He looked with glinting eyes at the loafers pressing about him 
and at Heather, who had left off her bargaining and stood in the 
shop's doorway. "This plunder they divided amongst 'em and then, 
with drums beating and flags flying, they headed southwest. They 
murdered men, women and children. They set fire to houses, barns 
and fences. And pointing guns at all the slaves they met up with, 
they forced 'em to join 'em." 

He drew in a long breath and, once more staring around him, 
said, "Now 111 proceed to acquaint ye with one fortunate thing." 
He paused for a moment dramatically. "Early the next morning 
'twas Sunday, recollect Lieutenant Governor Bull was returning to 
Charles Town from a friend's house along the same route. Nat'rally 
he heard the barbaric cries and seen the sky-roaring flames and 
he knowed right off what was happening. Just like that" he 
snapped his fingers "he turned his horse into the woods so's they 
wouldn't see him and he zigzagged that horse between tree trunks, 
palmetto clumps, gallberry bogs, smilax and grapevine tangles till 
he reached the Presbyterian church at Wilton. There, God be 
praised, the Reverend Archibald Stone was preaching to his con- 
gregation, 

*' 'The slaves has insurrected! 5 Mr. Bull shouted through an open 
window. c The slaves has insurrected! They be headed hither this 



very minute. Hasten, men! Hasten for your lives! Shoulder your 
muskets and follow me!'" The messenger shouted deafeningly as 
the lieutenant governor must have done. 

"Mr. Bull knowed of course the men had their muskets with 
'em, for there be a law in Carolina that everybody must carry 
muskets whenever they go to meetings. 

"Well, by this time the Negroes had covered approximately 
twelve miles and all along the way they had left the white settlers 
with their guts spilling out and their private parts hacked off and 
had got their selves crazy drunk on the rum they found in the 
houses. 

"Now," he announced excitedly and paused, "here come the 
planters from the church!" His arm pumped up and down to sug- 
gest men marching. "And they find the Negroes in an open field, 
full to the gills, beating the drums, chanting like they was in 
darkest Africa and dancing all over the place. So the planters 
quietly circle 'em and close in upon 'em and they whack off the 
heads of fifty of 'em and set 'em, pouring blood, on every single 
milepost they had passed." 

There was a pregnant moment of silence, then Joseph Fitzwalter, 
who was one of the crowd, spoke up, "That spelt the end of that 
revolt, I warrant." 

"Nay, I can't say for sure it did, sir," answered the messenger, 
shaking his head very slowly. "The Carolinians are affrighted it 
might be only the beginning. They are suspicious that Spanish 
agents has been in those parts for some months, stirring up the 
slaves to turn upon their owners at the first news of war." 

"God A-mighty!" Joseph said. 

Dr. Tailfer, unnoticed by Heather, had joined the group and 
now, like a man with a point to prove, asked, "My good fellow, 
just how many Negroes would you say are in South Carolina?" 

"About forty thousand, sir." 

"That's what I thought." Dr. Tailfer held up his walking stick 
and wagged it beneath the man's nose to hold his attention. "And 
about five thousand whites wouldn't you say?" 

"Yes, sir." 

"Well, naturally, that's too few whites for that many Negroes. 
The South Carolinians have good reason to be afraid." 

199 



"So have Georgians, sir, though they have no slaves," the messen- 
ger said a bit belligerently. "A plenty o Carolina slaves will try to 
cross the Savannah River and make their way through Georgia to 
Augustine, where the Spaniards has promised 'em their freedom, 
and they won't be particlar how they live and who they murder 
on the way because they know the government at Charles Town 
has offered a reward of fifty pounds currency for everyone took 
alive and delivered and twenty-five pounds for everyone kilt." 

How wise James Oglethorpe had been in forbidding slaves in 
Georgia, Heather thought with a mixture of gratitude and chagrin. 
She had been very stupid in this matter. She didn't see how she 
could ever look Bart in the face again. She, who had known so 
much, who had been so adamant, so positive, had really known 
nothing. 

She needn't worry, though, about looking Bart in the face any 
time in the near future, she soon learned. James Oglethorpe was ill 
with fever and rheumatism at Augusta, so reported the patroon of 
a trading boat from New Windsor, a small Carolina town. How 
long the Georgia leader had been there or how serious was his ill- 
ness, the boatman didn't know. He had only heard that the General 
had made his way there from Coweta and taken to his bed. 

The whole of Savannah buzzed with alarm. Here, when England 
and Spain were at war and James Oglethorpe was most needed, he 
would be ill. It was the first time he had been really ill, so far as 
anybody could recall, since the early days of Georgia when his 
horse threw him and some swamp canes pierced his side. The 
wounds had become infected and he had had high fever for a week 
or two; but then he had recovered fully and continued in good 
health until this hour. And now to be ill! 

Troubled, the people began gathering on the riverbank to watch 
for his coming; but ten anxious days went by without any sign of 
him or any further word about his health. Then on the eleventh 
day, in the middle of the night, a Ranger arrived with news. 

Heather heard it first from Colonel Stephens. "I was knocked up 
about one o'clock this morning," he related when he stopped by the 
Forsyths' during his early-morning constitutional, "and here was 
this express which the General wrote yesterday from Palachocolas, 
saying his health was pretty well recovered, but that he would stay 
200 



on there until today to receive advices on what the revolted Negroes 
were doing." 

"And then?" asked Jason. 

"Then if nothing extraordinary is going on, he will come down 
to Ebenezer this evening; then on to Savannah tomorrow." 

Though the Carolina slaves were quiet, James Oglethorpe was 
delayed three more days, but when he did appear he was very 
pleased, indeed almost smug about the outcome of his journey. 
Around a banquet table at Mother Penrose's he told a group of the 
leading citizens that the Indian conference had been a magnificent 
success. "My friends, I'm happy to acquaint you that the chiefs and 
deputies and warriors from two hundred miles around Coweta were 
present," he began genially, "and they declared without one dis- 
senting vote that they adhered to their ancient love of the King o 
Great Britain and to the agreement they had made with me in 
1733," He picked up a napkin, patted his full lips delicately, then 
lowered the napkin to the table, his fingers still encompassing it. 

"That agreement, as you perhaps recall, turned over to Georgia 
all the lands upon the Savannah River as far as the Ogeechee and 
all the lands along the seacoast as far as the River St. Johns and as 
high as the tide flows and all the islands, particularly those of 
Frederica, Cumberland and Amelia. They reserved for themselves 
only the little strip of land between Savannah and Pipe Makers 
Bluff and the islands of St. Catherine, Ossebaw and Sapelo. 

"Those lands, they set out, had belonged by ancient rights to the 
Creeks and they had maintained possession of them against all 
opposers by war and, if necessary, they could show heaps of bones 
of their enemies whom they slew in defense of those lands. Neither 
the Spaniards nor any other nation, they said, had any right to them 
and no persons, except those sent by the Trustees, would be allowed 
to settle upon them." 

He spoke the words with a keen delight and the group, led by 
Henry, burst into applause; but he was not finished. Studying the 
flame of the candle in front of him and continuing to toy with his 
napkin, he waited unhurriedly for the applause to die down; then 
said in a more casual tone, "My visit resulted in another accomplish- 
ment. Not quite so significant, perhaps, as the renewed agreement, 
but nevertheless significant " His hazel eyes moved slowly about the 

201 



table. "The Cherokee Indians would very likely have gone to war 
against the English if I had not met with their chiefs. In fact, they 
had gone so far as to send to the French for assistance. They were 
infuriated with us because their people were almost destroyed by 
rum and smallpox which had been carried into their nation by the 
English traders. They claimed over a thousand of them died and 
the sickness raged so they could not attend their fields." 

"Were they Georgia traders?" Recorder Christie asked. 

James Oglethorpe turned toward the Recorder and beamed. "Mr. 
Recorder, I asked them that very same question. They said no, so 
I urged them not to be angry with all the English and finally I 
made an impression on them." He waited for a fraction of a min- 
ute; then, arching his thick eyebrows, said proudly, "They even 
promised to send me a body of men to fight the Spaniards and I 
promised to supply them with fifteen thousand bushels of corn to 
relieve their starving condition." 

Recorder Christie led the applause this time. 

"Nay, my friends, I'm no longer worried about the support of 
the Georgia Indians. . . ." He finally relinquished the napkin, 
pushed his glass of port a few inches from him; then, throwing up 
his head, said, "My concern now is how much support I can count 
on from the English in this Colony and the other American Colo- 
nies and from Great Britain itself." 

The next ten days he pushed himself without a letup. He was 
not only enthusiastically preparing for war with Spain, but he was 
trying to regulate the civil matters of Savannah so they could run 
without him during his extended absence on the southern frontier. 
He sent dispatches in many directions. He ordered a young cadet 
back into the Indian country to instruct a trader among the Chero- 
kees to bring down as large a body of that nation as he could per- 
suade to come. He sent a call out for the Creeks and mapped plans 
for utilizing to the best advantage their unique manner of fighting. 
He wrote urgent letters for assistance to Carolina, Virginia and to 
the northern Colonies and to the commanders of the men-of-war 
along the Atlantic coast. He even reviewed the evidence against 
the reprieved seaman accused of murder, and ordered him to die in 
four days; then once again reconsidered the evidence and granted 
him a further reprieve. 

202 



Hearing of all these activities and conscious that Bart was in the 
midst of them, Heather grew restless. Her need to talk to Bart and 
clear up the past misunderstandings began to be stronger than her 
dread of embarrassment at facing him. Could she possibly still be 
in love with him? she wondered. Could she honestly love two men 
at the same time, for surely she loved Thomas. She had come to it 
slowly, but before Thomas left for England she held him in as 
warm affection as any woman could a man. 

With the problem nagging at the back of her mind, she ap- 
proached the Courthouse somewhat nervously at noon on October 
3rd. This was the hour James Oglethorpe had set to declare officially 
the war with Spain and she was pretty certain Bart would be 
present. She realized that she should have been concerned only with 
the dire predicament that Georgia found itself in; yet, young as she 
was, she couldn't help but consider now and then her own personal 
feelings. 

On the stroke of the hour, James Oglethorpe marched briskly, 
in spite of a limp that hung on from his illness in Augusta, between 
the lines of freeholders standing at attention in front of the Court- 
house, and took his seat on the platform. With him were four 
young officers of fine military bearing: Lieutenant Patrick Suther- 
land, whom Heather remembered from his previous visit to Savan- 
nah; Lieutenant Charles Mackay, a long, pink-faced individual, 
whose bright blue eyes nested beneath stiff, brushlike red eyebrows; 
Ensign Hugh Mackay, the nephew of the Captain Hugh Mackay 
who had been sent back to England for trial; and the General's 
aide-de-camp, Primrose Maxwell, a huge blond. 

Heather glanced furtively about to find Bart. He sat on the far 
side of the room, directly across from her. She studied every well- 
known, once-beloved feature. He glowed with health, but his usu- 
ally carefree countenance was set in grim lines. Sharply her heart 
contracted; then, heavily, painfully, it began to hammer against 
her breast. Her eyes fled back to James Oglethorpe and clung there. 

Though the Georgia leader was brief, he spoke very winningly. 
Even Heather admitted it. He praised the settlers for their cheerful- 
ness and urged them to continue to be of good courage. He had 
taken all precautions, he assured them, to prevent the enemy from 
descending upon them from the west and south. The only real dan- 

203 



ger that he could see was from the sea, but already there were a few 
frigates cruising on the coast and he trusted England would send 
more. 

When he finished, Colonel Stephens slowly reared himself to his 
feet and in tones even more flat than usual read the formal declara- 
tion of war and other papers that had been prepared. 

The meeting over, Heather did not head directly for Duke Street, 
but lingered on the porch of the Courthouse, listening outwardly to 
the people's reactions to the preparations for war but secretly wait- 
ing for Bart to appear. Maybe . . .just maybe ... he would walk 
home with her and she could tell him that she had been wrong 
about James Oglethorpe. After all, Bart had spoken to her about 
Truly's death and so he must no longer be angry with her. Indiffer- 
ent, no doubt, but not angry. 

However, when Bart appeared and saw her standing there, he 
simply lifted his cap, bowed and walked on. Ugh! she grunted 
inside of herself as if he had hit her with his fist; but nevertheless, 
after a moment, she turned and stared with stinging eyes at his 
broad back. Perhaps he would yet swing about and lift his hand in 
a gesture of friendliness* "Please, dear God, make him," she prayed, 
"Please, dear God . . ." So intent was she in willing this, she was 
deaf to the three volleys fired by the militia with their small arms, 
practically over her head, and to the five booms of the cannon from 
the Battery that marked the concluding act in this formal an- 
nouncement of war. . . . Still Bart never looked back. 

More disappointed than she would admit even to herself, she 
began to wonder when she would see him again. This sight of him 
affected her as drink a reformed drunkard. 

The opportunity came very soon. Tomochichi died two days later 
and James Oglethorpe delegated Bart to attend to the details of the 
funeraL After arranging for the corpse to be brought to Savannah 
for burial, not in the common Burying Ground outside the city, 
but in Percival Square, and issuing a statement that General Ogle- 
thorpe would raise a marker over the grave to remind future 
Georgians of their indebtedness to this man and his Indian kin, 
Bart waited for the cortege on the river's edge in full view of 
Heather. 

It was a still afternoon, steeped in sweet, soft air touched to gold 
204 



by the long fingers of the sun reaching across the left shoulders 
of the settlers to the placid face of the river. Even so gentle a sound 
as the tinkle of cowbells from Hutchinson Island, on the opposite 
side of the river, could be heard distinctly, and the suck of the tide 
about the pillars of the wharf was as clear as a child's kiss against 
his mother's cheek. 

Bobby spied the canoe a far way of? and announced excitedly, 
"Lookee, I see it," but it was a minute or more before Heather 
could make out the long, sparse body of Tomochichi, wrapped in 
blankets and sandwiched between boards, lying on a bier which 
took up almost the full length of the hollowed-out log. 

James Oglethorpe, Lieutenants Maxwell, Sutherland, and Charles 
Mackay, Ensign Hugh Mackay and the other pallbearers took the 
bier upon their shoulders and, followed by an armed escort of forty 
freeholders and other settlers, and by dozens of Yamacraws and 
Creeks, who had been arriving all day in canoes and on foot, 
paraded solemnly to the Square. There, without any religious cere- 
mony, according to the Indian custom, but with the firing of seven 
minute guns and three volleys by the militia, they lowered the body 
into the ground. Then Scenauki, more a scarecrow now than a 
human of flesh and blood, and grown-to-manhood Toonahowi 
walked with dignity about the grave, tossing in Tomochichi's 
blanket, headdress, beads, arrows and a few pieces of silver. 

Several times Heather stole a glance at Bart, but not by even the 
fluttering of an eyelash did he suggest that he was conscious of her 
presence and, as soon as the funeral was over, he marched oft as he 
had done the last time without one backward look. 

Walking slowly home, she made herself think of Thomas. How 
could she be so fickle? she asked sternly. How could just the sight 
of Bart throw her into this fever of restlessness ? Had she no sense 
of decency? Of loyalty? 

She vowed solemnly she would bury herself until Thomas's return 
in the problems of the Colony. They were grave enough, certainly, 
to occupy all her heart and mind. 



205 



XVIII 



THE very day of TomochichTs funeral a dispatch arrived 
from the Trustees, ordering Henry's removal from the office of first 
bailiff and promoting Recorder Christie to his place. The Trustees 
cited Henry's drunkenness as one of the reasons for his dismissal. 
Evidently an account of his latest escapade had reached London. 
Late one evening in Jenkins' Tavern, he had offered to exchange 
places with his host, Ed, and made a terrible spectacle of himself. 

"Le's you and me swap jobs, Ed," he had suggested unexpectedly, 
standing up and waving his long, seemingly boneless arms about 
his shoulders. "Ill be tavern keeper and you can be the first bailiff." 

" 'Tis agreeable with me," Ed had said with alacrity and began 
immediately to untie his leather apron. 

Henry should take off his clothes, too, several in the crowd had 
begun to yell. If Ed was to be the magistrate then he should have 
the magistrate's clothes, though the magistrate's clothes, as everyone 
could plainly see, were almost threadbare, with big patches at the 
elbows and on the seat. 

"Thash's fair hall wight, hall wight," Henry had said, now wav- 
ing his arms limberly at his side as if he were a ballet dancer. 
"Thash's fair and I halways shay le's us be fair." 

"All right then, take them off," Ed had snapped. 

"Wait a minute. Jush wait a minute." 

"Get on it with it," someone in the back had shouted. 

Henry had wagged his head about knowingly and crossed his 
arms over his chest. "I don't like to be 'urried thash's hall." 

"Go ahead! Take 'em off!" 

"In a minute, I shaid." Henry's big, round brown eyes had shone 
glassily and his face had been frozen in his broad, friendly grin; 
but very deliberately he had begun to undress and at last he had 

206 



stood as naked as the day he was born in the middle of the floor, 
his thin gangling body shivering in the drafts that whipped around 
the room in spite of the logs burning in the fireplace. 

"Girl, a toddy," he had said to the barmaid as she passed by him, 
giggling hysterically. 

"Nothing more for you, my good man!" Ed, who had not stood 
about naked like befuddled Henry, but had speedily donned the 
magistrate's old clothes, had spoken with authority. "Drinking rum 
is against the law and I be not one to have the law flaunted." 

The customers had been convulsed. They had whooped, laughed, 
wept, beat their neighbors on the back, slammed their mugs and 
tankards on the tables. Recorder Christie in his excitement had even 
cracked the long stem of his clay pipe. 

For a full minute Henry had remained quietly where he was, his 
staring eyes and asinine grin fixed as if carved in wood, though his 
body swayed from side to side; then he had spoken with careful 
emphasis: " 'Old a minute. I shaid I wanted a toddy!" 

"I'm acquainted with what you shaid." Ed had been completely 
carried away with his new role. "And I'm acquainted, too, with 
what I said. I said, 'No!' As first magistrate I forbid the drinking of 
all spiritous liquors in this Colony." 

Henry had lunged for him, but Ed had been ready. All but 
hissing "You dirty swab, you," Ed had doubled his fist and sent 
Henry crashing to the floor where he lay until two friends picked 
him up and carried him upstairs to bed. 

Besides his drunkenness, the Trustees had cited Henry's activity 
on behalf of the Representation of Grievances as their reason for 
dismissing him. Indeed, the Trustees were most bitter with him 
and the other officials of the Colony who signed the Representation 
and they enclosed a statement to be fixed to the Courthouse door 
for everyone in Savannah and the neighboring villages to read. 

Heather waited her turn late one afternoon when she returned 
from the Lot. There were a dozen people ahead of her, crowded 
close together, their unwashed bodies smelling rancid even in the 
open air. She knew most of them: Joseph, Rachael Ure, John Mil- 
ledge, Dr. Tailfer. . . . One man was reading the words aloud to 
two friends who couldn't read. 

Though it was still light, the slim, white curve of a new moon, 

207 



like a piece of darning thread, was caught near the hem of the 
bright, satiny blue sky. 
Finally she reached the door and steadied her eyes to read: 

The Trustees are not surprised to find unwary people drawn 
in by crafty men to join in a design of extorting by clamor from 
the Trustees an alteration of the fundamental laws . . . but the 
Trustees cannot but express their astonishment that you, the 
Magistrates, appointed by them to be guardians of the people 
. . . should so forget your duty as to put yourself at the head 
of this attempt. 

Reading it slowly, Heather bridled. It really was most unjust. 
Georgia wasn't at war when the Representation was drawn, so there 
was no good reason why the Magistrates, if they felt the laws un- 
fair, shouldn't have protested them. Of course, now it was different. 
The Magistrates and all the people must cheerfully submit to all 
the laws until the war was finished. Then, if there was still a 
Georgia, they could press for reforms. 

Impatient and shocked at the Trustees' harshness, she read on 
hurriedly until she came to two paragraphs near the end which 
were in answer to that section of the Representation in which the 
settlers had warned that their descendants would call curses down 
upon the Trustees' heads if they did not rescind the hampering 
restrictions. The paragraphs said: 

The Trustees readily join issue with them in their appeal to 
posterity, to judge who were their best friends, those who en- 
deavored to preserve for them a property in their land by tying 
up the hands of their unthrifty progenitors; or they, who 
wanted a power to mortgage or alienate them? 

. . . Those, who with great labor and cost had endeavoured to 
form a Colony of His Majesty's subjects and persecuted Protes- 
tants from other parts of Europe, or those, who to gratify the 
greedy and ambitious views of a few Negro merchants would 
put into their hands the power to become sole owners of the 
Province by introducing their baneful commodity? 
208 



These lines so infuriated Heather, she marched off, her eyes 
shooting sparks. How stupid, how arrogant, how insulting the 
Trustees were! If England wasn't at war she herself would write an 
answer to this outrageous paper and she would proceed to fight for 
the reforms until she dropped. 

The advancement of Recorder Christie to first bailiff in Henry's 
place also infuriated her, but no more than it did James Oglethorpe 
and Colonel Stephens. As the Recorder for some time had been sell- 
ing bottles of rum, which he jokingly referred to as "Christie's 
Beef," and living in open adultery with his so-called "housekeeper," 
the Georgia leader and the Secretary didn't consider him fit for the 
position and finally they worked out a scheme to circumvent the 
Trustees' order. They informed the Recorder he could not assume 
the new office until he had perfected a copy of the proceedings of 
the Court from the time he became recorder. This task, they felt 
sure, would employ him a long time, if not for the rest of his life, 
since the Court proceedings were in great disorder. 

This ticklish matter disposed of for the time being, James Ogle- 
thorpe began to gird the northern part of the Colony for war. He 
appointed Colonel Stephens the head of the local militia and then, 
unbeknownst to the public, made a list of every man able to bear 
arms. Announcing that the town was about to be taken by weeds 
that were breeding mosquitoes, gnats, snakes and other insects and 
varmints, he ordered every man to report one sunrise at the beat of 
the drum and clear them away. One hundred and ninety-eight 
turned out, whose names he carefully noted. 

Then he departed for the south, taking Bart with him. 

Heather with her lips thanked God that Bart was gone. She was 
relieved, she told herself, that he was no longer where she might 
see him. Now she could wholeheartedly devote herself to her many 
tasks and to Jason, Bobby and Colonel Stephens. 

Colonel Stephens especially needed her. James Habersham, who 
had accompanied George Whitefield on his first voyage to Georgia 
and remained behind as Savannah's schoolmaster, had informed 
him that Mr. Whitefield was returning and this had sorely upset 
the old gentleman. He and other members of the congregation con- 
sidered it unjust for Mr. Whitefield to displace so summarily the 
new preacher, William Norris. 

209 



"I must say I thought when Mr. Whitefield was amongst us he 
took great pains to preach God's word and do his duty/' Colonel 
Stephens expounded in his garrulous fashion one evening as he and 
Heather had a nightcap of rum, water and sugar. "Yet, I cannot 
say that Mr. Norris has been defective in his. I really have found 
him as the Honorable Trustees recommended him, a person of very 
good qualifications." 

He put down his mug and busied himself lighting his pipe. "I 
must say, though, Mr. Habersham has made it most difficult for 
Mr. Norris. He's never been able to refrain from speaking lightly 
of him to divers people and in making comparisons betwixt him 
and Mr. Whitefield, always, of course, giving the pre-eminence to 
Mr. Whitefield. Mr. Norris complained of it once to me, but he did 
it in a very modest manner and appeared noways uneasy at it, 
further than that he was apprehensive it might be a means of divid- 
ing the congregation and spiriting up a new sect." 

Heather eyed Colonel Stephens quizzically as he sucked coaxingly 
at his pipe. The new sect that Mr. Norris feared, she mused, must 
be the Methodists, for that was the name by which the most zealous 
adherents of John Wesley and George Whitefield were beginning 
to be called in Savannah, though the two parsons were still mem- 
bers of the Episcopal Church of England. 

Suddenly Colonel Stephens changed the conversation. "Heather, 
did I ever tell you about the proposals that Mr. Whitefield made a 
few months ago to the Georgia Trustees?" 

"No, sir." 

"Are you sure? I know I discussed them with Henry and Dame 
Parker and I was under the impression I discussed them with you 
and Jason, too." 

Cradling his pipe in his hand, he eased himself out of his chair, 
massaged two spots near his backbone, just above his buttocks, and 
walked stiff-legged over to his desk. All his papers were in perfect 
order. He was meticulous about his correspondence, his bills, his 
bookkeeping. He kept a daily account of every shilling he spent; 
he even kept books on how much of his land was cleared weekly, 
what he planted and what he harvested. 

With no fumbling he plucked from a pigeonhole some sheets of 

210 



good post, studied them for a few minutes, returned to his chair 
and eased himself down on his backbone. 

"I won't read them all to you," he said, "there are too many of 
them, just the most interesting. Mr. Whitefield proposed that an 
orphan house be set on foot and that he be allowed the manage- 
ment of all the money that he collected at services he would conduct 
at Bristol, Bath and London." 

"I suppose the Trustees agreed, sir," Heather murmured, 

"Yes, they did. Then, declaring that in all probability he would 
continue a long time in Georgia, he proposed that the Trustees pay 
his mother ten pounds yearly during his absence." 

"Really, sir?" 

"Yes, but the Trustees very politely declined. Next he proposed 
that orders be given to have the churchyard new-fenced; that two 
Christian basins be brought for the Savannah and Frederica 
churches and two black burying cloths and some handsome candle- 
sticks to hold the candles at evening public worship." 

"Doesn't he know there is still no church in Savannah?" 

The Secretary drew hard at his pipe. "I presume he's referring to 
the Courthouse yard." 

"Did the Trustees agree?" 

"Not entirely. They only agreed that the basins, burying cloths 
and candlesticks should be provided and that Mr. Whitefield was 
to acquaint Mr. Verelst what is proper on these occasions. Next, he 
proposed that the Trustees should strengthen his hands by enacting 
some particular law for restraining fornication and adultery, for 
now, so he claimed, the people who come to Georgia seem to think 
they have a license for such crimes." 

Heather's face and body grew hot, for ever since her affair with 
Bart she never heard the word "fornication" without feeling humili- 
ated, but she managed to ask evenly, "And what, sir, did the Trus- 
tees answer to that?" 

"They answered they 'are much concerned to see virtue encour- 
aged and vice represt and will come to any lawful measures for 
those ends, but cannot direct anything contrary to the laws of 
England.' " 

Heather traced a crack in the floor with her foot. "What else, 
sir?" she asked, forcing herself to look up. 

211 



"Well, the next proposal he put in the form o a question. He 
asked the Trustees whether masters had the right to forbid their 
servants to marry." 

"He couldn't have, sir." 

"He did, and the Trustees answered " Colonel Stephens flipped 
over a page. "The Trustees answered: 'Masters have not at present 
power to forbid their servants banns, nor do the laws allow it. Be- 
sides, the command, "Increase and multiply" (by marriage) is a 
particular advantage in an infant colony.' " 

The next weekend, George Whitefield arrived in Savannah and 
on Sunday afternoon Heather poured tea for him, William Norris, 
James Habersham and Jason in Colonel Stephens' parlor. 

The day before, George Whitefield had ridden horseback about 
ten miles from Savannah, in the general direction of the Isle of 
Hope where Henry and Noble Jones had their country places, to 
see the 500 acres of land which James Habersham had chosen as 
the site for the Orphan House and he expressed himself exceedingly 
well pleased with it. 

"I'm going to lay aside all further thoughts about where to build," 
he declared, "and definitely fix on that site." 

For a minute he pondered above his cup while the others waited. 
"However, the distance from town will bring some inconvenience 
upon me as I propose to have a chapel and an apartment there and 
make it pretty much the place of my residence when in these parts. 
Of course, though, I won't be in these parts long. After a few 
months here, it will be expedient for me to take another trip in 
order to get the Orphan House fund augmented." He pursed his 
lips, somewhat deflating the bags in the lower half of his cheeks. 
"Under these circumstances, I dare say I will need some help in 
discharging my ministry here." 

He cocked his one good eye at William Norris. "In my absence, 
Mr. Norris, I will be happy to have you continue exercising your 
functions in Savannah. Then, when your services aren't required 
here, you can function in Frederica. I understand Mr. John Wesley 
alternated in this fashion." 

"My thanks to you, Mr. Whitefield," answered William Norris 
testily, "but the Trust has been pleased to appoint me at Frederica 
and I feel bound not to neglect that charge." 

212 



"As you like." George Whitefield's tone was brusque and without 
further comment he rose, said his adieus and departed. 

The next morning he interrupted his activities for the Orphan 
House long enough to try to make the grand jury take cognizance 
of the persons in the town whom he denounced as living "most 
scandalous lives with their whores in open defiance of all laws, both 
divine and human, to the great reproach of the place." 

A grand jury of seventeen sitting, the third bailiff presented the 
charge. (Henry had excused himself on the grounds that since his 
dismissal by the Trustees, he only acted as first bailiff when it was 
unavoidable, and the second bailiff, who could neither read nor 
write, on the grounds that he wasn't qualified to do it.) 

George Whitefield then jumped to his feet and, with his huge 
voice sometimes roaring against the heinousness of such crimes and 
at others flooding with tears over the patheticness of a place ridden 
by such debauchery, harangued the jury for more than an hour. 

He concluded with this direful pronouncement: "I'm fully per- 
suaded that the painfully slow progress of the Colony is owing di- 
rectly to God, who will not permit it to prosper while such bare- 
faced wickedness is, through neglect, suffered to remain among us." 

However, in spite of his pleading, the jury, after a whole day's 
wrangling, adjourned without returning a single true bill. 

After this, George Whitefield worked on the plans for the Orphan 
House with a crusader's enthusiasm. He hired every sawyer, car- 
penter and bricklayer who had not left Savannah for Frederica with 
James Oglethorpe and he ordered quantities of scantling timber, 
already sawed, from North Carolina. 

Nevertheless, one matter seriously deterred him. Before his return 
James Habersham had arranged with James Oglethorpe to deed the 
500 acres of land for the Orphan House to him and, in spite of the 
schoolmaster being his close friend, the parson didn't approve of it. 
He insisted the land should be in his own name. 

One morning he invited the constable, Samuel Mercer, to accom- 
pany him to the site of the Orphan House on the pretext that he 
needed him to show him the way, but when they arrived he 
demanded that Samuel turn over the land to him personally. 
Samuel said he didn't have the right. Very well, said George White- 
field angrily, he would take the matter up with Colonel Stephens. 

213 



And so he did that very afternoon, interrupting Colonel Stephens 
as he worked over the list of the men in the northern part of the 
Colony able to bear arms. 

After hearing the complaint against the constable. Colonel Ste- 
phens lowered his eyes to hide his amusement at the box the parson 
found himself in and drawled flatly, "I cannot but think that Mr. 
Mercer acted very cautiously. Neither he nor I were responsible for 
deeding the land to Mr. Habersham, so neither he nor I can change 
it. That gentleman chose to go to the fountain's head, wherein no 
one can blame him, and the first notice I had of it was from the 
General himself when he ordered me to make out a warrant for 
giving Mr. Habersham five hundred acres of land in a certain place, 
which I did." 

"That's all very well," said the parson impatiently, "but the Trust 
told me that you, Colonel Stephens, would see to it that I received 
the five hundred acres personally and I intend to apply nowhere 
else." 

"I'm sorry, sir, my hands are tied. However, Mr. Habersham 
might be able to assist you; he might make a public surrender of 
the land to you." The Secretary swept his lips inward from the 
corners with his thumb and forefinger. "Of course now it might 
not be considered exactly legal, as no surrender of any lands, as I 
understand it, can be made by another person without being au- 
thorized by the Trust or by some person to whom such power is 
delegated, still" 

"I'll take my chance on that," George Whitefield snapped. 

So a few mornings later the parson, Colonel Stephens, James 
Habersham, Henry and Anne, Jason and Heather, Constable 
Mercer and a dozen others hired the few horses and carriages avail- 
able in Savannah and journeyed to the building site. The road was 
only two winding ruts in the deep white sand, cut by the carts that 
had hauled the bricks and lumber from Savannah, and the branches 
of haws, hollies and other trees and the slackly woven scarves of 
moss on the live oaks brushed constantly against their faces. 

On reaching the Orphan House site, Heather was surprised to see 
how much work had already been done. Almost twenty acres of 
land were cleared; two small houses were raised and one of them 

214 



practically finished; the foundation was dug for the main building 
and thousands of bricks were stacked. 

Walking swiftly like a man of important affairs, his big pump- 
shod feet slapping the sand and shoving it up behind him and his 
full black robes swaying out, the parson approached the foundation 
of the main building. At the front right corner he halted, waved his 
arm in a half circle to indicate where the group was to stand and 
faced James Habersham. Nervously that young man stared about 
him, spotted a small magnolia, bent over, yanked it up and then, 
red in the face, held it out to George Whitefield. "As a symbol of 
this five-hundred-acre tract of land," he said solemnly, "I tender you 
this tree, Mr. Whitefield, hereby resigning all my rights and titles to 
the said property." 

The parson wrapped his plumpish hand about the gray-green 
stem, mumbled a few words of thanks to James and then pro- 
claimed loudly, "Henceforth, the name of this place will be Be- 
thesda, a refuge for all the orphan children of Georgia. With full 
assurance of its future usefulness I have come here this day, Thurs- 
day, January twenty-fourth in the year of our Lord, 1740, to lay the 
first brick." 

Colonel Stephens was just beginning to breathe easy after this 
hassle over the land when he learned that George Whitefield was 
claiming every orphan in the Colony for his home, which he had set 
up temporarily in a rented house in Savannah, and that he had 
already taken Charles and Peter Tondee from Anne and Henry. 

"Why Charles and Peter have been with the Parkers seven years, 
ever since the day their father died," Heather told Colonel Stephens 
as soon as she heard the news, her small body rigid and her hands, 
drawn back to her shoulders, clenched and shaking. "It will break 
their hearts to give them up." 

"I know." And the old gentleman rubbed his fingers across his 
bulging forehead to the edge of his wig. 

"Colonel Stephens, you can't allow Mr. Whitefield to do this. 
You must stop him. You . . . you . . ." Anger welled up so wildly 
in Heather she couldn't go on. 

"Now, Heather, don't get incensed with me," Colonel Stephens 
said with unusual sharpness. "I'm not the culprit, you know." 

215 



"But you must do something, sir. You must! You simply must!" 

"I intend to try, my child. The Magistrates are having a meeting 
with Mr. Whitefield tomorrow and I intend to have my say." 

However, practically all the talk at the meeting was between 
Henry and George Whitefield. Arguing his case, as Anne sat by 
quietly sobbing, Henry didn't mention his and his wife's love for 
the boys; he sensed, evidently, that would carry little weight. He 
argued earnestly but most respectfully, for the reprimand from the 
Trustees had intimidated him, that he should be allowed to keep 
them because Charles was now fifteen and could be of help to him. 

"Hafter looking hafter 'im all these years whilst 'e could do me 
no good," he said, "hit seems unfair to take 'im away now when 
'e is a well-grown lad." 

"But, my dear Mr. Parker, a well-grown lad is of more value to 
me than to you," George Whitefield replied in tones that suggested 
this was the only logical way to look at the matter. "He can work 
and help support the other orphans." 

"Gall durn it, parson!" Henry cried, temporarily losing control 
of himself and flinging both his arms across the top of his head. "I 
can't believe that the 'Onorable Trustees hintended for a child to 
be classified as an horphan who is given proper care without charge 
to the Trust." 

"Here's the deed!" The parson produced it with a flourish from 
his pocket and waved it beneath Henry's hurt, soft, popped eyes. 
"See for yourself what it says. No exceptions are made. Orphans 
are orphans!" 

That afternoon, Heather, heartsick over Anne and Henry, was 
putting on her cape to go and see them, when she spied George 
Whitefield and James Habersham coming out of the Milledges' 
back door, dragging Sarah and Richard. Like a mother bird whose 
nest is threatened, Heather flew down the path to the alley, 
shrieked, shook her fists and stamped her feet at the two men; but 
they completely ignored her and marched determinedly on. 

With Heather standing at his elbow, Colonel Stephens wrote a 
letter that evening to James Oglethorpe about the situation, but he 
warned Heather not to expect an answer for several weeks. "The 
General is immensely hurried with the preparations for war," he 
reminded her. Nevertheless, in just six days an answer came. James 

216 



Oglethorpe had dropped everything to get a letter off on the return 
tide. 

"The Trustees couldn't have granted the orphans to Mr. White- 
field in the sense that he seems to understand it," the Georgia leader 
wrote. "It is most certain orphans are human creatures, and neither 
cattle nor any other kind of chattels; therefore cannot be granted. 
The Trustees have not given, as I see it, any power to Mr. White- 
field to receive the effects of the orphans, much less take by force 
any orphans who can maintain themselves, or whom any other sub- 
stantial person will maintain." 

James Oglethorpe's promptness and outspokenness on behalf 
of the Tondee and Milledge children touched Heather deeply. It 
revealed a humane, sensitive side of him she had chosen to forget; 
the same side, no doubt, that had originally prompted him to 
scheme to empty the English jails of debtors. 

The letter digested, Colonel Stephens hurried off to find Henry 
and Heather ran all the way to the Milledges' back door to find 
John. "You can get Sarah and Richard back," she told him breath- 
lessly. "All you need do is to go to the Orphan House and ask for 
them. I'm sure Mr. Whitefield has received a letter from General 
Oglethorpe, too." 

With a tender glow in her eyes, she watched John set off down 
the lane. It was raining hard and he had no cap and his coat, 
especially the sleeves, was much too short for him, and was thin 
and patched; but gayly he careened from side to side of the lane, 
rattling a stick against the pickets of the fences. 

Impulsively she decided she would ask him and Sarah and Rich- 
ard to dinner. She had some oysters and new garden peas she had 
bought on the wharf from the settlers of Highgate. Of course, the 
Milledges might not like oysters Bobby wouldn't touch them but 
she would chance it. 

As she scrubbed the kitchen floor, she kept an eye out for them 
and shortly she saw John turn into the lane from Drayton, but no 
Sarah and no Richard. 

"What happened, John?" she yelled excitedly from the back 
door. 

"He wouldn't let me have J em," he replied brusquely as if he 
were trying not to cry. 

217 



"What did you say, lad? Pray come here quick and tell me about 
it." 

His bare, wet head lowered, he stalked to the back door. 

"Yes, John dear?" she questioned gently, putting her arm around 
him and propelling him toward the fire. 

"I said, 'Mr. Whitefield, I've come to take my brother and sister 
home/ " 

"You said that to Mr. Whitefield himself?" 

"Yes, ma'am, and he said, 'I don't know what you're talking 
about; they're already at their home.' " 

Heather was sure she had never been so angry in all her life, 
and when she rushed and poured out the story to Colonel Stephens, 
he was at first almost as angry, but he quickly quieted and grew 
cautious. There was nothing further that he and the Magistrates 
could do at present. They couldn't possibly swear out a warrant 
and lock up in the log house the Trustees' duly appointed minister. 
They would have to wait for further orders from General Ogle- 
thorpe. 

A few evenings later Heather became even more enraged, if that 
were possible, when she and Bobby watched Sarah and Richard 
and Charles and Peter, all swathed in mourning, trudge down the 
street in a funeral procession. An old woman who had come from 
England with George Whitefield and belonged to his household, 
which he always referred to as "The Family," had died and the 
orphans were marching two by two at the head of the procession 
to the Courthouse. All the older ones, except Sarah, were piping so 
thinly and timidly that the words were indistinguishable some 
Psalm; but the little ones were wailing hysterically. 

The night was unusually bitter; a high, frost-laden wind was 
blowing from the northwest, plastering the black garments of the 
children against their shivering bodies and slapping flat the strug- 
gling flames of the pine knots carried aloft by James Habersham 
and some strange woman. 

When Sarah came abreast of Heather and Bobby, she pressed her 
fingers to her lips and stared at them with big, limpid, pleading 
eyes. Heather then began to weep too, and she clutched Bobby's 
hand with all her strength. 

Behind the children came George Whitefield and behind him, 
218 



on the shoulders of six members of "The Family" and beneath a 
new and handsome pall, came the corpse, and behind the corpse a 
half-dozen or more black-draped Savannahians. The majority o 
the settlers, though, were already in the Courthouse, waiting to 
hear the parson's sermon on the announced topic, "Watch and 
Pray." 

Heather tossed restlessly that night in her chilly bed. Pictures 
of those scantily clad little waifs dragging, when the sermon was 
finally over, all the way out Bull to the Burying Ground and stand- 
ing about in the bleak darkness of the night, eerily streaked by the 
wavering flares of the pine knots, kept forming on her closed lids. 

For several weeks after the funeral, in spite of a war looming 
over them, most of the settlers spent their time arguing heatedly 
over the highhanded behavior of George Whitefield, but then for- 
tunately the parson sailed in his own sloop for Pennsylvania to 
raise money for the Orphan House and they were able to turn their 
attention to other matters. 

In his farewell sermon, George Whitefield reproached his congre- 
gation bitterly because their hearts were hard and they had not 
grown in grace. They fell far short, he said, of all the parishioners 
to whom he had ever preached. In other places large numbers 
followed him with weeping, begging to know what they must do 
to be saved. 

"But here only a few have been pricked to the heart," he said, 
shaking his head mournfully, making his fleshy jaws tremble and 
his tight white curls sway from side to side, "and begun to be 
enlightened by the Holy Spirit. Yet, if ten saints could preserve 
Sodom, I hope you few righteous souls left behind will be able to 
prevent the utter desolation of declining Savannah." 

He took with him James Habersham, leaving no one to officiate 
in his absence except a Mr. Simms who, according to the gossip in 
Savannah, had been, before George Whitefield converted him, a 
butcher in London, living in Clare Market. 

Also Recorder Christie and his "housekeeper" departed the same 
day, but not on the parson's sloop. The Recorder was going to 
England to protest directly to the Trustees General Oglethorpe's 
and Colonel Stephen's action in withholding from him the office 
of first bailiff. Before leaving, he auctioned off his household goods 

219 



and Heather bid in a stool, a pewter dish and some Dutch-printed, 
colored pictures. The pictures were cheap and not very good, but 
she thought they might add warmth to the bare, wooden walls of 
the parlor and lift a little her and Jason's spirits. 



22O 



XIX 



JAMES OGLETHORPE was furiously pushing himself and 
everyone about him that spring for an early siege of the huge, 
formidable castle of St. Augustine. Already, he had made two diffi- 
cult expeditions into Florida, burned one abandoned fort and cap- 
tured, after several hours of brisk fighting, Fort Francis de Pupa, 
which the Spaniards had recently built on the north side of the 
St. Johns River to protect a ferry they used on their excursions 
into the Creek-occupied sections of Georgia. 

Now he was straining every muscle, nerve and brain cell to get 
the siege itself under way. He feared that each day's delay meant 
that St. Augustine was more strongly fortified. Back in January he 
had heard that the town was scarce of provisions; that the entrench- 
ment around it was weak and the garrison incomplete, and also 
that there were a great many useless mouths in the town: priests, 
women, children and slaves which, with the garrison, made about 
2,500 souls. If he could have besieged it then the people would have 
been driven into the sixty-foot-square walls and, because of lack of 
room and food, a bombardment would have more than likely 
brought about its surrender. 

He had hopes, of course, that it was not yet too late. If he could 
stop all provisions and other succors coming in from Cuba, the fort 
might still have to surrender under bombardment. 

He drove himself between sixteen and eighteen hours a day. Bart 
and the others close to him watched him with awe and almost 
worshipful admiration. He never considered his own comfort; he 
was completely indifferent to where or when he slept and what -he 
ate and drank. 

He wrote letters; he sent officers to South Carolina to beg for 
assistance; he received dozens of Indian delegations; he urged the 

221 



commander in charge of the ships of the British Admiralty sta- 
tioned at Charles Town to keep an around-the-clock watch off the 
north Florida coast to prevent Spanish succors reaching St. Au- 
gustine; and he sent William Horton, who for some little time now 
had been a lieutenant in the Regiment, to England to explain to the 
Trustees his reasons for taking the offensive and to plead for the 
most pressing necessities. 

"Pray tell them, Lieutenant, the best expedient I can think of is 
to strike first," he instructed, "for our strength consists of men. The 
people of the Colony, as well as the soldiers, handle their arms 
well and are desirous of action, so I think the only sensible thing 
to do is to make use of our strength, beat the Spaniards out of the 
field, destroy their plantations and their outsettlements and besiege 
Augustine. 

"But, of course, I cannot do the impossible." He shrugged his 
broad shoulders. "I have no cannon from the King, nor any others, 
but only some small iron guns bought by the Trust and a little 
powder. 

"Lieutenant, you must insist that they apply to Parliament for a 
small train of artillery, some gunners and at least four hundred 
barrels of cannon and one hundred of musket powder with bullets 
proportionable." 

William, frowning, leaned forward. "Sir, perhaps I had best make 
some notes." 

"By all means." Quickly James Oglethorpe shoved a few sheets 
of foolscap, a quill and ink toward the front of his desk; then 
waited a minute while William scribbled rapidly. "You have down 
the four hundred barrels of cannon and one hundred of musket 
powder with bullets proportionable?" 

"Aye, sir." 

"Then put down next, five ten-oared boats and a troop of Rang- 
ers. Explain to the Trustees, please, that the Regiment can defend 
the parts they are in, but they cannot march on foot over the water 
without boats, nor overtake horse or Indians on foot in the vast 
woods on the continent." 

The Georgia leader sprang up and paced energetically to and 
fro. "Also tell them, Lieutenant, that I am fortifying the town of 
Frederica and I hope I shall be repaid the expense . . . from whom 

222 



I do not know." Again he shrugged. "Yet I could not think of 
leaving a number of good houses and merchant goods and, what 
are more valuable, the lives of men, women and children, in an 
open town at the mercy of every hostile party. 

"And one more thing, please. Tell them I had hoped to send all 
the accounts by you, but the preparations for invading the Span- 
iards and making inroads upon them have taken up so much of 
my time that I have not been able to attend to this business; but if 
I come back alive from this expedition I will labor on the accounts 
and do not doubt but that I will settle them and the Province upon 
a good foot of economy. 

"However, do explain to them there will be several other ex- 
penses this year, over and above their estimate. It will be necessary 
to continue the small garrison of a captain and ten men at Fort 
Augusta, since I cannot weaken the Regiment by sending an at- 
tachment to so great a distance as three hundred miles. 

"Furthermore, I have been obliged to call down our Indian 
allies. They have readily assisted me, tell them, but by so doing they 
lose their hunt and corn season and so I am forced to give them 
food, arms, ammunition and some clothing, which they would 
otherwise get by skins. Then their leaders and interpreters have 
to have certain allowances. I have already sent the Trustees an 
account for the Creeks and Cherokees, so, Lieutenant, you won't 
have to go into that; just say I will need the same for the Chicka- 
saws and Yamacraws. 

"I do want you to take with you, though, the establishment for 
the company of sixty Rangers that I have ordered to be raised." 
He strode over to his desk, picked up a few sheets of good post 
and tossed them toward William. Then after a minute or so of si- 
lence while, with his high brow creased and his hazel eyes intent 
and still, he ran over in his mind all he had outlined, he said, 
"Well, Lieutenant Horton, I believe that covers about everything. 
Good luck, my friend, and Godspeed." 

After he got William off to England, he went himself to Charles 
Town to seek assistance, the officers whom he had sent having 
failed miserably, and was quite successful. The South Carolina 
Assembly empowered Lieutenant Governor Bull to raise a regiment 
of foot, with Alexander Vanderdussen as colonel, and a troop of 

223 



Rangers; to provide sloops, boats, guns and ammunition; and to 
raise approximately 15,000 pounds sterling, which was within a 
trifle of what he asked, for provisions and other necessities. 

Then in early April, accompanied by several of his officers and 
Bart, he came to Savannah to attend to many last-minute matters, 
and there he was when an express arrived one midnight to advise 
him that six Spanish galleys and two sloops, well armed and 
manned, had got into St. Augustine between the time Captain 
Townsend of the British Admiralty came off that station and Cap- 
tain Warren, also of the British Admiralty, arrived to relieve him. 

"The General went into a towering rage," Colonel Stephens con- 
fided excitedly to Heather the next morning during his constitu- 
tional, "but shortly he quieted and dictated a warm, indeed I 
might even say without exaggeration, a hot dispatch to Charles 
Town in which he urged the Council in no uncertain terms to 
hasten the force he was promised and to acquaint the commanders 
of the frigates there how needy it is for them to turn out and give 
what assistance they can in preventing any further succors getting 
into St, Augustine or any useless hands out of it." 

Gradually, his blue eyes began to twinkle and he asked, "Do 
you recall hearing, Heather, about the Spaniards giving General 
Oglethorpe a box of sweetmeats that time they came to St. Simons 
to make a treaty? Well, I suspect the General very shortly now will 
return them some plums of another kind." 

"When is he expecting to get away from Savannah?" Heather 
asked, her manner offhanded, though the blood tumbled through 
her. 

"He hopes to catch the two o'clock tide today. He has a quantity 
of provisions and some Indians to get on board, but the morning 
ought to be long enough for that." 

Heather longed to be on the Bluff at two o'clock, but she forced 
herself to stay at home. She would not make a public spectacle of 
herself, trembling and white-faced and, no doubt, bursting into 
tears if Bart did by chance glance at her. 

So, rigid, she sat in the kitchen while her mind churned with 
the thought that Bart was leaving at that very hour and not, this 
time, just for Frederica but for Florida and war. Dear Lord God, 
she might never see him again. The Spaniards were fierce and 

224 



cruel and they would be fighting on their own soil, behind their 
own thick, stout walls, mounted with huge cannon. What chance 
would the few hundred men with General Oglethorpe have against 
such an enemy, in such a place? They would die, clutching their 
bloody guts, on the sands about St. Augustine. 

She hurt all over. Her throat felt completely closed she could 
not swallow without an effort and her chest was hard swollen. 
She argued frantically with herself that Bart's going to war should 
make little difference to her. He was just another young man and 
she should suffer no more over his departure than over the depar- 
ture of Joseph Fitzwalter or Noble Jones or of any of the others 
who were leaving. He was nothing to her. Nothing! The fact that 
he had possessed her, had possessed every fiber of her body, mind 
and heart was past history. She was now betrothed to Thomas and 
so no matter what happened to Bart in the jungle wastes of Florida 
she should not be overly concerned. Nevertheless, she beat her fist 
against her mouth to keep from crying out. 

Then suddenly, quick, firm footfalls on the wooden boards of 
the hall startled her. She jerked about and there stood Bart in the 
doorway. 

"Oh, I thought you were gone," she gasped. 

Small flames seemed to flare up in his pale blue eyes, but quietly 
he answered, "I almost was. The piraguas carrying most of the 
officers and Indians did sail; but at the last second, the General told 
them to go on without him. The cutter, you see, is faster than the 
piraguas and so he can leave an hour later and still overtake them 
at anchor." 

"Really?" 

"They will have to anchor as soon as this tide is spent," he went 
on and, though his voice continued quiet, he elaborated on the sail- 
ing conditions as if he were ill at ease and trying to make conversa- 
tion for conversation's sake. "The wind is southerly and will be 
against them till they pass Skidoway Narrows, so they must depend 
solely on the tide unless the wind veers to a more favorable point." 

"I see," she murmured, then remembered her manners and asked, 
"Won't you come in and have a seat?" but she didn't get up; she 
couldn't trust her knees. 

"I thank you." Bart walked in slowly, holding his cap in his hand, 

225 



and sat sideways on the edge of the table with one foot planted on 
the floor and the other swinging loose. 

He had come on an impulse. Finding an unexpected hour on his 
hands, he had decided to pay Heather a farewell visit. After all, she 
and he had loved one another once and somehow it seemed neces- 
sary at the moment to say good-by to her before going off to war. 
The fact that she was Thomas Stephens' betrothed did not disturb 
him. He certainly had no intention of trying to alter that situation, 
even if he could, on the eve of a long campaign. He had plenty to 
occupy his mind. He had the responsibility of transporting James 
Oglethorpe and his senior officers to the scene of the siege and of 
getting them home again. 

Looking down at Heather from his perch on the table, he said, 
"The General announced he was taking this time to go to the 
Orphan House and order the return of Charles and Peter to Anne 
and Henry, and the Milledge children to John, and so I slipped off 
and came here." 

"I'm so thankful General Oglethorpe is ordering the children's 
return," she said, feeling a surge of kindness toward that gentle- 
man. "And I'm also thankful, Bart, that you came here." 

Then they were both silent, but the room seemed to Heather to 
be quiveringly alive with membranes from her body fanning out, 
waving about, groping toward Bart. 

When an eternity of this trembling silence had passed, Bart said, 
"I was desirous, Heather, of saying good-by. Maybe 'twill appear 
foolish to you, but I didn't want to leave for the siege with ill feel- 
ings betwixt us." 

Scarcely breathing, Heather waited for him to continue. Oh God, 
at last he was going to say he hadn't meant what he had said that 
long-ago day; that it had all been a grievous, grievous mistake. His 
temper had just got the better of him. 

She heard her heart thudding loudly in her ears, but no other 
sound. No other sound at all. Bart was staring fixedly at the floor, 
his strong, firm body gracefully bent as if he were trying to find 
some article between the cracks of the wide boards. 

"Nay, Bart, it doesn't appear foolish to me," she finally said in 
almost a whisper. "I, too, have been desirous of acquainting you 
with something. Ever since England declared war on Spain, I've 

226 



realized I was wrong about General Oglethorpe in many instances 
and have wanted to apologize to you for what I said about him." 
Her head ducked slightly to one side and her eyes winged up to 
look into his. "I understand now General Oglethorpe was truly 
striving his best to make the Colony fitten to fight." 

"I thank you kindly, Heather, for the apology," Bart said stiffly. 

She felt the blood in her cheeks. Bart wasn't being at all helpful, 
but judging from past experiences with Jason and Bobby, no man 
was when a woman said she was sorry. They wanted to be apol- 
ogized to, but still it made them feel awkward and uncomfortable. 
"I don't say that the restrictions haven't been a woeful handicap, for 
that they have." She pulled a small white lily that grew wild in the 
woods out of a glass beside Bart and tore at its petals. "But since 
General Oglethorpe believed war with Spain was inevitable, I'm 
convinced now that he acted with sincere intentions. So, I'm pleased 
you came and gave me the opportunity to tell you." 

"I'm pleased I came, too," he said and fell silent again. 

She pressed the raveled lily to her hot cheek. It had some fra- 
grance, but the scent of the honeysuckle vines in full bloom on the 
fence pales just beyond the kitchen window was much sweeter, 
heavier. 

"Yes, Heather," he went on, "I believe in letting bygones be by- 
gones, especially in parlous times like these." 

Blood and wounds, what was he saying? "Bygones be bygones?" 
Fear gripped her. Was it possible that after all he wasn't going to 
tell her he loved her? That he had always loved her and always 
would love her? 

Scalding tears filled her eyes as they studied his fair, silky-shining, 
bowed head. Surely in a moment his arms would swoop her up and 
his mouth would swing from side to side against hers. Surely. 
Surely. Shutting her lids tight to hold back the tears, she prayed that 
they would. "Dear God in heaven, make him. Make him love me." 
If he would say just one word that hinted he still cared about her, 
she would throw herself upon him. 

For an ageless time she waited; then, when Bart neither moved 
nor spoke, she lifted her wet, gold-lashed lids and found his eyes 
on her, filled with what seemed to her to be pain and desire and 
instantly, without moving even so much as a finger, her inward 

227 



being went out to him and was locked to his inward being, vio- 
lently, ecstatically, passionately. 

Then, before she recovered, he was gone. Reaching down for her 
hands with both of his, he had crushed them until she winced, then 
dropped them and rushed out of the room. 

For an hour, perhaps, she sat on just where he had left her, 
staring in front of her as if in a stupor. Her hands still pained her, 
but she was scarcely conscious of them. Her dazed mind limped 
around and around with the same question. Had Bart shared that 
embrace of their inward beings? Had he felt in that trembling, 
shaking instant that they were fused into one, enfolded, submerged 
in each other? Or had she alone, by so earnestly willing it, imagined 
the whole experience? 



228 



WARNING his rowers to pad their oarlocks, Bart guided the 
cutter toward the Florida shore of the St. Johns. It was already 
night and he could scarcely make out the gray-black blur of the 
land from the starless, blue-black blur of the sky; but James Ogle- 
thorpe had issued orders in the late afternoon that no lanterns were 
to be lit. The landing must be kept secret from the Spaniards until 
scouts could learn their strength and whereabouts. So, his eyes mere 
slits beneath his squinting lids, Bart stood in the bow, turning the 
helm. 

Close about him were innumerable other small craft: a schooner, 
four piraguas, two sloops, a longboat that belonged to John and 
Mother Penrose, and other boats from Savannah, Amelia, St. An- 
drews, Frederica and Darien. Also, a little distance away, were two 
British men-of-war, the Phoenix and the Flamborough. They were 
loaded to the gunwales with 500 soldiers of James Oglethorpe's 
Regiment; a company of Highland footmen; Rangers, both English 
and Highlanders; approximately one hundred Indians, and supplies 
of mortars, bombs and ammunition. 

These men formed the vanguard of the Georgia leader's forces 
against St. Augustine. The South Carolina companies, under 
Colonel Vanderdussen, were on their way across country. There 
were other ships, too, already off the coast of St. Augustine or 
nearby: the Hector] the Squirrel] the Tartar] and two sloops, the 
Wolf and the Spence. 

At four o'clock the next morning, fifty Indian scouts crept out of 
the camp as quietly as cats to spy on the Spaniards. They returned 
late the next evening with one prisoner, a Negro. 

Seated on a buffalo skin in front of a palmetto hut that his serv- 
ants had fashioned in an alcove of myrdes, palmettos and small 

229 



pines, James Oglethorpe received them, shaking each of them by 
the hand and speaking a few words of appreciation in their own 
language. Highly excited, they reported they had discovered a cow- 
pen with more than a thousand cattle belonging to the King of 
Spain for the use of the Florida garrison, and had pursued six 
Spaniards right up to the walls of St. Diego, a fort midway between 
the St. Johns River and St. Augustine, barely escaping death from 
cannon balls. 

The next day James Oglethorpe attacked Fort St. Diego with his 
old tricks of strategy. Placing three and four drums together in 
scattered woody spots, he ordered small groups of soldiers to rush 
toward the fort from various directions; then hurriedly withdraw 
and rush forward again. When he considered the Spaniards had 
been sufficiently impressed by the number of the attackers, he pelted 
them briskly from the south for a brief period; then summoned 
them to surrender. They did so promptly and just as promptly he 
occupied the fort and garrisoned it with fifty men. 

However, the real prize of the day was the cowpen. With its cap- 
ture, not only was the garrison of St. Augustine deprived of its 
chief source of meat, but the British were assured of plenty for 
many weeks. 

Returning to his camp on the St. Johns, James Oglethorpe waited 
with growing impatience on the South Carolina Regiment so he 
could proceed to St. Augustine. To keep his men fully occupied, he 
ordered them to take daily marches and exercises; to build small 
pine and palmetto huts for the officers at the head of their platoons 
and to dig innumerable wells in the hope of finding sweet water, 
for all they had brought up was green, muddy and bad-smelling. 

He allowed little time for recreation other than fishing and 
gathering oysters from the nearby oyster banks, which the men 
called their "victualing offices." 

The seafood was a luxury, for there was a sufficiency of plain 
provisions. The men were divided into messes with one man from 
each mess designated to go aboard the store-schooner to get the sup- 
plies. Every man received a three-day allotment of rice, beef, flour 
and molasses. 

While the enlisted men busied themselves with these chores, 
James Oglethorpe gathered the senior officer of his Regiment, Ma- 
230 



jor Alexander Heron, a small, unprepossessing man with friendly 
blue eyes and a huge nose; his lieutenants, Patrick Sutherland and 
Charles Mackay, and Colonel Palmer and Captain John Mackin- 
tosh, Mohr, of the Highlanders in front of his hut and instructed 
them in those problems of warfare they were likely to encounter 
in the siege. 

The instructions usually ended with a supper of barbecued pork, 
beef, freshly killed chickens from the coops on the store-schooner 
and fish. It was prepared on a wood fire near the General's hut. 

Finally, Colonel Vanderdussen and his Regiment arrived and 
immediately the Georgia leader set out with all his troops for St. 
Augustine. Even Bart and most of his crew went. Altogether there 
were 2,000 men. 

Lined up along the riverbank in the dazzling sunlight, drums 
beating, the Union Jack and the red cross of St. George on its 
white background floating gracefully midway of the column, they 
were a colorful sight. There were the British uniforms of brilliant 
scarlet; the Highlanders' of scarlet and plaid; the Rangers' of 
buckskins, and the Indians' of skins or blankets, slung so loosely 
over their shoulders they revealed the brief flaps of dingy cloth 
that hung from beaded girdles over their crotches. 

One Indian, however, stood out from all the others. He was 
wearing a brand-new scarlet coat, trimmed with white braid, 
exactly like James Oglethorpe's. Bart shaded his eyes to see him 
better. Damme, if it wasn't Malachee of the Creek nation. Bart had 
seen him last at Frederica during those bustling days of April 
when so many other Indian warriors had arrived to have what they 
called a "personal talk" with the Great White Father. 

Malachee had been in deep distress at the time. His uncle, Chi- 
gilly, who was still ruling as emperor, was showing a decided cold- 
ness toward getting into the war with Spain. He had told his 
people the Indians shouldn't interfere in the white men's quarrels. 
Malachee suspected the old man had been influenced by Spanish 
emissaries, who were all over the Creek country, so he had traveled 
the long distance from Coweta to Frederica to learn from James 
Oglethorpe himself what he and his nation should do. 

Of course, in a few days, he was speeding back to Coweta to 
recruit a large force for the campaign. He was to make one stop, 

231 



though, in Savannah to be fitted for a fine red coat which James 
Oglethorpe had ordered from the best tailor in the Colony. 

Malachee, like every other man in the line, including James 
Oglethorpe and his officers, carried a knapsack on his back with a 
pound of biscuit and ten ounces of cheese, which had to last him 
seven days. There were no baggage wagons or sumpter horses 
attached to the expedition. 

The General on his black stallion and his officers, also on horses, 
moved out a little before noon at the head of the long column. 

The first part of the way was fairly clear of tall trees; but it 
bristled with huge clumps of stiff, many-pointed palmetto fans, as 
sharp-toothed as saws; with thorny nets of smilax vines; humps of 
wire grass and innumerable roots that not only tripped Bart and 
sent him sprawling, but tripped men much more accustomed to 
marching through the woods. 

And the sun in this almost treeless area was as persistently cruel 
as some persecuting fiend. It drove splinters of white-hot glass into 
Bart's skull and shoulders and into the white sand ahead of him, 
which shattered it into shimmering particles and sprayed it back 
against his smarting eyeballs. Bart thought from his years on the 
water that his eyes were accustomed to the fiercest glare; but this 
sand glare was worse than anything he had ever experienced. 

It was a joy to reach a swamp of clear, black-brown water and 
plunge into it up to his belly; but then he must stumble out over 
cypress stumps and fallen logs and push across another pine barren. 
His mouth grew parched- He raised his canteen to his lips. It 
burned him. Swearing, he held it above his bent-back head and 
let the water trickle into his mouth. It was hot as sassafras tea. 
His sword handle burnt him, too, whenever he touched it, as did 
the steel of his musket. 

James Oglethorpe called a halt during the worst heat of the after- 
noon; then, after a short rest, ordered the march to continue until 
dark. 

At dawn they began to move once more and soon the heat was 
even greater than the day before and their canteens were empty. 
At the camp site they had sunk more than twenty wells, but all 
the water had been brackish. Men began dropping out all along 
the line with sunstroke. The officers dismounted and ordered the 

232 



bodies of the stricken men laid across their horses, three in a row. 
Bart didn't fall out, but he felt charred to the bone. 

"Jesus Christ!" Francis Moore, marching beside Bart, exclaimed 
at one point. "Not even the soldiers of Cato endured such hardships 
amongst the scorched sands of Libya," 

Bart turned his head to look appreciatively at Francis, tripped 
over a pine sapling and pitched hard to the ground. Matted with 
sand burs and beggar lice, he struggled up and dragged on. 

The whole column was jaded to death when, at noon, James 
Oglethorpe spotted a brook of clear water in a grove and gave the 
command to fall out. Tearing off their weapons and clothes, the 
men stumbled into the stream, stretched out full length and drank 
like dogs with lapping tongues. 

But one man did not sprawl in the branch. He scooped up a 
hornful of the water and took a long, deep draught. Wiping his 
chin with his sleeve, he cried out in rapture, "Here's sack! Sack, 
my lads!" 

James Oglethorpe, watching the frolicsome scene with mildly 
amused eyes while he quenched his own thirst with a glass of wine, 
called quickly, "Come here, my good fellow." 

Hesitantly, his face startled, the man shuffled forward. 

Reaching out his left hand, the Georgia leader took the horn and 
tilted a dash of the water into his wine. Then, extending the glass 
out with a flourish and bowing, he said, "Sir, I drink on you." 

The man's sunburnt skin grew ruddier; his eyes flashed; but he 
was too shocked to speak. 

Smiling genially, James Oglethorpe handed his glass to Colonel 
Vanderdussen to hold for a minute, reached into his pocket, brought 
out his purse, carefully selected a piece of silver and gave it to the 
man. 

After the water-drinking bout, the soldiers had refreshments of 
biscuits and cheese, and then they slept. 

For this once on the march, James Oglethorpe didn't share the 
same fare as his soldiers. As if celebrating the nearness of St. 
Augustine, he and his officers sat beneath a huge water oak and 
ate ham and washed it down with wine. 

Because of the intense heat, the General allowed his men to rest 
until after five o'clock; nevertheless, by eight o'clock that evening 

233 



they reached a deserted Spanish fort, called Moosa, just two and a 
half miles from St. Augustine. Pitching camp, Bart heard plainly 
the tattoo beat in the castle and the advanced English sentries 
even heard the challenge of the Spanish sentries. 

The next morning James Oglethorpe ordered the gates of Moosa 
to be burst and the walls to be breached. Then he ran six British 
flags up on the ramparts and all day he maneuvered his forces on 
the flat, sandy land in plain view of the castle's walls, hoping to 
entice the Spaniards into the open to fight. 

The Englishmen suffered that day all the tortures of that sun- 
baked, insect-infested land. The sun, like mustard poultices, blis- 
tered their heads and backs; mosquitoes droned steadily in their 
ears, except when they settled down to draw blood; and gnats and 
sand flies peppered them with quick, fiery, itchy stings. Their 
tongues grew stiff and thick. They found no water in twenty-five 
wells they dug; only mud, which they held to their cracked blis- 
tered lips and sucked through their clenched teeth. 

His stern face splotched with bites, James Oglethorpe paced 
ceaselessly up and down in front of his lines. The cannons he had 
been able to haul through the trackless wastes were too light, he 
knew, to breach the walls of the castle. The Spaniards must come 
outside if he was to fight them. Surely they would, he reasoned, 
since they could see his force was small and his defenses exceedingly 
weak. If they did not come outside, then he would have to with- 
draw and figure out some new tack. 

He and his men spent a second day in this hell; and still the 
Spaniards didn't move from out of their fortress. So on the third 
morning the drums beat to arms and he issued the commands for 
the return to the camp on the St. Johns. 

On reaching Moosa, he ordered Colonel Palmer to remain there 
with eighty-five Highlanders and forty Indians to scout the woods 
and intercept any cattle or other supplies that might come from 
the interior of Florida for St. Augustine. 

"My advice, Colonel, is to keep on the move," he said informally, 
pulling at the fingers of his glove, preparing to shake hands. 
"Never spend two nights in the same place. I don't anticipate an 
attack. I've strove too diligently these past two days to coax the 

234 



enemy out to believe they will appear now; but in case they should, 
you are to withdraw immediately to Fort St. Diego." 

"I understand, sir," Colonel Palmer answered. 

The General shook hands, swung upon the stallion and trotted 
briskly to the head of the column* 

The men had been marching several hours through deep, sizzling 
sand, their tongues swollen, their throats stuck, so they felt, with 
numberless cacti, when an Indian scout began to whoop and dance. 

"What is it?" they croaked. "What is it?" 

"Water!" came the answer. "Water. He's found a spring!" 

At the sound of the beautiful word, two men broke ranks and 
began to run toward the scout. 

"Tie those men neck and heels!" shouted James Oglethorpe, his 
voice shrill with rage. "That will teach soldiers to desert their 
arms!" 

Damme, what a disciplinarian, thought Bart admiringly. It hurt 
the Georgia leader, he was sure, to issue such an order, yet he con- 
sidered it his duty and, so, he did. Bart glanced at Major Heron and 
Lieutenant Mackay and saw admiration in their faces, too. Also 
awe. 

Three hours later, James Oglethorpe halted the column, ordered 
the men untied and then, smiling and chatting, had bags of flour 
distributed. "There will be boiled dumplings for everybody," he 
announced as if trying to erase the unpleasant episode. 

At Fort St. Diego, he dispatched Colonel Vanderdussen and his 
Carolina Regiment south to Point Quartel, a finger of low ground 
stretching along the water, slightly to the north of St. Augustine. 

Then he and the remaining troops went doggedly on and finally, 
late the next afternoon, with drums beating, they arrived in sight 
of the St. Johns camp. Bart's feet were blistered and bloody and 
they hurt him excruciatingly the last few miles when he hit the 
hard ground extending out from the St. Johns River. 

However, there was no rest for him. After exchanging messages 
with Commodore Pearse, James Oglethorpe ordered the cutter and 
a dozen other boats to carry him and 200 men, with baggage, can- 
non, ammunition and provisions, including many live cows, down 
to the Tartar at the mouth of the St. Johns. 

235 



"Commodore Pearse has agreed to land two hundred sailors, if 
I will land an equal number of soldiers, on the island of Anastasia," 
the General explained, struggling in the sea breeze with a roughly 
drawn map of the coast. 

Curious, Bart peered at the map over the Georgia leader's shoul- 
der. The town of St. Augustine, as he knew, did not face directly 
on the ocean but sat on the breastbone, as it were, of a body of 
water, called the Mantanza River, which had two arms curving 
from the breastbone to the sea. And in the half circle made by 
these two arms and the Atlantic lay the island of Anastasia, directly 
opposite St. Augustine. 

"Soldiers and sailors stationed here, with batteries facing the 
mainland/' said James Oglethorpe enthusiastically, tapping the 
island wiith his index finger, "can bomb St. Augustine, I believe, 
quite effectively." 

On June 24th he began the attack from a mortar of grenades 
planted just above the marshes on the west coast of Anastasia. 
Bart, who had fallen ill with dysentery and was back at the St. 
Johns camp, imagined he heard them along every nerve of his 
body. 

James Oglethorpe continued the bombardment for several days. 
Then he sent an officer with a flag of truce across the Mantanza 
with orders for the Spanish governor to come to his Anastasia camp 
and surrender. The governor sent back word that if General 
Oglethorpe wanted to see him he would be glad to shake hands 
with him in his castle. 

Chagrined and angry, the Georgia leader snapped commands to 
recommence the bombardment; but before the cannons could be 
loaded he received a fresh blow. The patroon of the Savannah 
scout boat burst upon him with the news that the Spaniards had 
surprised the Highlanders and Indians while they slept at Fort 
Moosa and had massacred untold numbers of them. 

"It was horrible, sir," the patroon cried, pulling his arm across 
his sun-blistered face to mop the sweat. "A few of 'em escaped and 
reached Colonel Vanderdussen's camp on Point Quartel and they 
swear the Spaniards got some of 'em down on the ground and 
chopped their heads and privates off with their swords." Again he 
236 



smeared his face with his sleeve. "Christ, it must have been hor- 
rible!" 

"How did they let the Spaniards surprise 'em?" demanded 
James Oglethorpe, his eyes smoldering with fury. 

"That's what nobody can understand, sir, when you told 'em to 
keep moving. But they were right there at Moosa when about three 
hundred of those Goddamned bastards sneaked out of the gates of 
that castle and pounced upon 'em." 

"God!" 

"The Highlanders, though, fought like lions, they say. They 
swung those broadswords every which way and, no doubt, cut down 
some of their own countrymen, for it was just at daylight and 
difficult to tell friend from foe and there was nobody, after the first 
few minutes, to give any orders, for Colonel Palmer was one of the 
first to be wounded." 

"Colonel Palmer was?" 

"Yes, sir, but wounded and bleeding through his mouth as he 
was, he kept loading his piece and shouting, 'Whurra boys, the day 
is our own. I've been in many battles and never lost one/ But this 
one, sir, he sure lost and his life, too, poor man." 

James Oglethorpe breathed heavily. "What about Captain John 
Mackintosh, Mohr?" 

"Who sir?" 

"Captain John Mackintosh, Mohr. I left him there with Colonel 
Palmer." 

"Oh, yes, sir. They say him and some others were captured and 
taken back to St. Augustine." 

James Oglethorpe swung about, glanced along the irregularly 
spaced line of cannon and muttered, "Now we must take St. 
Augustine! Fire!" 

However, after several days of continuous bombardment, the 
Georgia leader realized that the shells from Anastasia were doing 
little damage to the castle. The distance across the marshes and 
the Mantanza River was too great and the mortars and coehorns 
too few, too poorly mounted and too light for breaching service. 
He would never be able to subdue the place unless the British ships 
sailed inside the harbor, took the Spanish galleys that were anchored 
there and bombed the fortress at close range. 

237 



He sent message after message to this effect to Commodore 
Pearse, who had stationed the Tartar a considerable distance off the 
bar; but got no action. Then he went himself and, after an angry 
argument, extracted a promise from the Commodore that the fleet 
would attack the galleys if he, the Georgia leader, would return to 
the mainland and bombard St. Augustine from the rear. 

So once more he returned to that airless jungle of trees, shrubs 
and vines and of mosquitoes, gnats and sand flies to wait for 
Commodore Pearse and the fleet to sail into the harbor and begin 
the engagement. He stationed guards along the water front to re- 
port the first glimpse of an English sail crossing the bar; but rest- 
less and anxious, he himself rode hourly to the river's edge to stare 
with prayerful eyes toward that shimmering, narrow path between 
the mainland and Anastasia. So intent, so persistent, so hypnotic 
was his gaze, his eyes seemed to be dragging up the ships' anchors. 
Still, not a single English sail showed against the sky. 
Finally, that torrid June gave way to an even more torrid July. 
Then a dispatch arrived overland from Commodore Pearse. For 
a full five minutes James Oglethorpe held it in his hand before 
opening it. This was not the time for a dispatch. Hourly now for 
more than a week he had been expecting action. What possible 
last-minute message could the Commodore and his staff be sending 
him now? 

His face dark with foreboding, the General tore away the seals. 
The words jumped at him. The men-of-war and frigates were aban- 
doning the plan of attack. The commanders of the fleet had decided 
that the St. Augustine harbor was too shallow for them to approach 
the Spanish galleys; and furthermore they could not remain one 
day after July 5th off the Florida coast as the hurricane season was 
approaching and they could not risk their ships where there were 
no landlocked harbors. 

A long groan escaped James Oglethorpe's cracked lips. Why, it 
was already July! The ships were the same as gone. And with no 
ships bombarding from the water, what could his small cannon and 
weak force accomplish from the rear ? As he had learned from the 
days of cannonading from Anastasia, the walls of the castle were 
much more formidable than he had expected from his intelligence. 
There they towered stolidly against the sun-pale blue sky, the 

238 



muzzles of their guns pointed directly at the flatlands that he and 
his men occupied. 

All one day he paced up and down in front of his tent, racking 
his brain for some scheme to save the situation. He had planned 
this siege and submerged himself in it for too many months to 
admit now without a terrific struggle that his efforts were in vain. 
And even more importantly, he must consider what effect the 
siege's failure would have on Georgia, South Carolina and the 
other colonies. If he lifted it now, wouldn't the Spainiards be in a 
position to invade them very shortly? And wouldn't it be much 
more difficult to fight them off than to bottle them up here in St. 
Augustine? 

Then, while he was still thrashing the pros and cons of his prob- 
lem, an even worse blow fell. A new dispatch arrived, informing 
him that three bilunders from Cuba, laden with flour and other 
provisions, had sneaked in the night by the man-of-war that was 
supposed to be guarding the lower arm of the Mantanza and sailed 
directly up to the fortress's walls. 

Now the situation was completely hopeless. With the arrival of 
fresh supplies and the imminent departure of the ships, he didn't 
have the slightest chance of starving the castle into surrender. 



239 






IN the midst of the anxiety and uncertainty that spread 
over Savannah after it was known that James Oglethorpe had be- 
gun the St. Augustine campaign, Heather received a letter from 
Thomas, announcing he was promoting a Parliamentary inquiry 
into what he termed the "bad state" of the Colony's affairs. 

The news was a shock. Though she had listened to Thomas, 
especially during his last unhappy weeks in Savannah, denounce 
many times the conditions in the Colony, she had supposed that 
with the declaration of war he had dropped his complaints. Surely 
he realized Georgia was in a death struggle for her very existence 
and her inhabitants could no longer afford to be divided over in- 
ternal issues. 

Pressing the letter to her chest, she flew out of the house to find 
Colonel Stephens. Maybe he had already heard about Thomas's 
action and, knowing it would upset her, had kept it a secret, or 
maybe he had received a letter, giving more details, in the same 
packet with hers. 

Rushing into the Stephens' parlor with only a perfunctory knock 
on the front door, she cried out excitedly, "Colonel Stephens, 
Colonel Stephens, have you heard from Thomas lately?" 

"Nay, Heather, not directly," he answered, his flat voice even in 
these few words showing chagrin, "but Mr. Benjamin Marty n has 
sent me a copy of the 'Observations' which Thomas has presented 
to Parliament and the Trustees." 

His shoulders sagging, he walked slowly to his desk, gathered 
up with trembling hands some sheets of paper spread there and 
stared at them; but he did not really see them. He already knew 
them by heart and they weighed on him intolerably. Thomas had 
done what he had pleaded with him not to do; he had publicly 
240 



criticized the Colony and by so doing he had, without doubt, 
jeopardized his father's position as Secretary to the Trustees. How 
exceedingly willful of him! How really base! 

He was in a rage with Thomas and yet, even as he fumed and 
fulminated inwardly, the thought that he might be partly to blame 
for his rash act gnawed at his consciousness. Maybe, if he had come 
to Thomas's defense when General Oglethorpe accused him falsely 
of attempting to steal the King's stores, then perhaps Thomas 
wouldn't have been in such an ugly frame of mind as to berate the 
Colony to the Parliament. And yet, if he had spoken up for 
Thomas, who knew what might have been General Oglethorpe's 
reaction? Right then and there, high-tempered as the Georgia leader 
was, he might have kicked him out of his secretaryship. He had 
saved his precious position at the time and, if he had to do it over, 
he would act the same; but nevertheless he felt guilty and he re- 
sented feeling that way and so grew more and more infuriated 
with Thomas. 

With an angry, petulant gesture, he thrust the sheets of the 
"Observations" at Heather; then with both hands grabbed the 
crown of his head, covered by his nightcap, which he wore some- 
times about the house instead o a wig, and rocked it back and 
forth. 

"Heather, what am I to do?" he cried. "Just what am I to do? 
It's such a blow. Such a terrible, terrible blow! Oh, Heather, you 
can't possibly comprehend what an old man feels from such a 
blow given by his own son. Just consider I don't even have a letter 
from him, framing an excuse for what he has done or offering any 
vindication of himself. I have to hear the news from Benjamin 
Martyn." 

Still rocking his head, he gazed dolefully at Heather and waited 
for words of commiseration; but for once she didn't offer him any. 
Instead, she felt chilled as if she had dived in midwinter into the 
Savannah River. Colonel Stephens at such a time was thinking 
solely of himself. 

"Of course, the world will censure me," he went on when she 
remained silent, "as an adviser in this affair, no matter how zeal- 
ously Thomas might swear to the contrary." 

And well they might, Heather thought to herself a bit angrily. 

241 



Colonel Stephens had never tried to curb Thomas's indignation at 
the regulations until Dr. Tailfer, Robert Williams and the others 
had drawn up the "Representation" to send the Trustees. It was 
only when the time came to take a public stand that he grew 
timorous and nervous. 

"This must render me infamous," he moaned. "Infamous." 
Heather moved to the window and glanced hurriedly over the 
"Observations." They followed closely the same old arguments for 
Negro slaves and the change of land tenures; however, there was 
one startling new complaint. Thomas put part of the blame for 
the Colony's condition on the Magistrates and other officers. Unable 
to believe the accusation the first time, Heather read it again: 

What has hastened the destruction o the Colony and com- 
pleted the misery of the people is the behavior of the men in 
power there, for as too many good-for-nothings were sent over 
to settle, so magistrates and officers, whose equals are scarce to 
be found, have governed them. 

How could Thomas have written such a libel? Why in denounc- 
ing all the Magistrates and officers, he was denouncing Henry, who 
had, it is true, once drunk too much, but who now, since the 
tavern undressing episode, was staying much soberer, and the con- 
stable, Samuel Mercer and even his own father and General 
Oglethorpe. 

Seething, she read on: 

Much has been squandered in projects and trifles and 'tis a 
question if the vast sums expended will ever be accounted for 
by the thousands. Those men in power, instead of comforting 
any in their adversity, add to their calamities by acts of violence 
and making discord among the people. 

Heather lowered the pages and, with flashing eyes, looked up at 
Colonel Stephens. "Why do you suppose Thomas did such a thing?" 
she asked, trying to speak calmly. "It is not like him to want to 
harm the Colony and it waging war. He must have taken this 

242 



means to get even with General Oglethorpe, not realizing what it 
would do to Georgia." 

"And to me/' Colonel Stephens said, sitting down and resting 
his cheek like a child on the palm of his hand. 

"To do it now ... of all times," Heather continued, anger, in 
spite of herself, getting the upper hand. "To turn against Georgia 
when she's fighting for her very life. Why these 'Observations' 
could influence the Trustees and Parliament to cut off all assistance 
just when General Oglethorpe needs it most. How can Lieutenant 
Horton's mission succeed when Thomas is ranting against the 
'thousands' that have already 'been squandered in projects and 
trifles'? Why Thomas is no better than ... er ... er ..." 

Abruptly she broke off as a grimace contorted Colonel Stephens' 
already tragic face, and in a rush she relented toward him. Poor 
old man, he had had a hard life and couldn't help, she supposed, 
thinking first of himself. 

"I'm so sorry," she murmured, and stooped and pressed her lips 
against his blue-veined temple. 

"Don't apologize, my dear," he said, his voice harsh. "I'm sure 
General Oglethorpe will denounce him as a traitor and it will be 
no more than he deserves." 

Clamping his bony jaws shut, he got up, drew himself very 
straight and stalked over to the secretary to begin the day's work. 

Several mornings later, still deeply troubled about Thomas's be- 
havior and the St. Augustine campaign, Heather went with Bobby 
to spend the day with Anne and Henry on their plantation and saw 
shortly after arriving a boat going toward Carolina. 

"What news?" Henry shouted, rushing to the water's edge. 

"The General is drawing off his forces from before St. Augus- 
tine," shouted back an officer whom Heather recognized as Lieu- 
tenant Delegal. 

Henry opened his mouth to ask another question, but hastily 
Lieutenant Delegal ordered the men, who had rested upon their 
oars, to pull away. Henry's big round eyes almost popped out of his 
head. " 'Ells bells, why is 'e so shy and in such a hurry to get 
haway?" he asked excitedly. "I warrant 'e is not telling the truth 
and doesn't wish to be questioned too closely." 

243 



Heather and Anne, both pressing their hands to their chests, 
shook their heads bewilderedly. 

"And another peculiar thing," Henry rushed on. "Did you no- 
tice that gentleman hunder the awning who lay very still and did 
not show 'isself ? Also, there were two rowers who didn't resemble 
Henglishmen. They were of a swarthy complexion, somewhat of 
the mulatto type. I really don't hunderstand hit." 

Nor did Heather, but of one thing she was sure. Lieutenant 
Delegal had told the truth about the siege being lifted. 

And the next day Colonel Stephens corroborated the sad fact. 
The two mulatto-looking men had landed not far from Henry's 
plantation and brought the tidings directly to the Secretary. 

"And the two men were no more mulattoes than you or I," 
Colonel Stephens elaborated to a group that had gathered in front 
of the Courthouse for news. "They were brown through much 
sweat and toil. One is an Englishman who has lived several years 
up in the Cherokee nation and is hurrying now to prepare the 
Cherokees for the return of their many ill warriors and the other 
is an insignificant old fellow, a sort of Jack Pudding at Augusta, 
but what carried him to war is beyond me to guess. And as for the 
man under the awning who wouldn't show himself to Mr. Parker, 
he was the General's old friend, Colonel Barnwell of Carolina." 

Then, as if he had been stalling for time with these minor de- 
tails, he broke the news of the terrible massacre at Moosa. "But," 
he added to soften the tragedy, "our men fought desperately and 
made their way through and through the Spaniards, their swords in 
hand." 

Heather felt sick at her stomach. Think of all those young men 
dying! Maybe Bart had been there and been killed. General Ogle- 
thorpe usually was where the most danger was, and Bart was 
usually with the General. But even if Bart had escaped this mas- 
sacre, what assurance did she have that he would escape the next 
time? There was bound to be more fighting and more killing. 
More fighting and more killing till either the Spaniards were sub- 
dued ... or General Oglethorpe. 

It was grievous to think about and yet, now it had to be. It was 
too late for it to be any other way. James Oglethorpe and every 
able-bodied man must fight to the end to save Georgia. It was her 
244 



home and refuge and the home and refuge of hundreds of other 
immigrants who had never had homes before. No matter how 
restrictive the regulations, they loved this land. They had lived hard 
and suffered many sacrifices, but they had at least been freed from 
the terror of London's debtor prisons. This freedom was decidedly 
worth fighting for. 

However, Dr. Tailfer, Hugh Anderson and other members of 
St. Andrews Club, including their nightly hosts, the Jenkinses, 
didn't follow Heather's reasoning. Hurriedly they loaded their 
household goods on a new boat of Robert Williams' and fled to 
Charles Town. Also, Timothy disappeared from the little hut on 
the Lot one night. Whether Charles Town was his destination or 
some place farther removed from danger, nobody knew. 

"You wanta wager a shilling he comes back?" Bobby asked 
Heather in a voice he tried unsuccessfully to keep unconcerned. 
"You wanta?" 

Then fell the blow that Heather had feared when she first learned 
of Thomas's "Observations." The Trustees wrote that they couldn't 
possibly approach the Parliament for a further supply of money for 
Georgia until they had the facts in hand to lay the doubts that 
Thomas had stirred up. They urged Colonel Stephens to prepare 
immediately a paper on the true state of the Colony, setting out: 
"the number of the inhabitants, their settlements and progress in 
cultivation, their ability or inability to support themselves by labor, 
the nature of the climate and soil and the proportions of the differ- 
ent sort of soil as near as may be computed, the produce that may 
be raised for trade by the inhabitants, the nature of the goodness of 
the coast and harbors, and the defensible state of the Colony, to- 
gether with the benefit Great Britain enjoys by settling and fortify- 
ing it and may reasonably be expected to enjoy by the produce of 
silk, wine, oil, cotton and cochineal." 

The amount of work the report involved was staggering, but of 
course there was no question about Colonel Stephens' doing it. 
Even if the Trustees hadn't requested it, he felt an obligation to 
clear the Colony's name of Thomas's slanders and, further, a great 
urge to clear his own. 

However, he found the account very difficult to write,, for the 
Trustees insisted it wasn't to be just one man's opinion, or even 

245 



three or four men's, but a composite opinion of all the inhabitants. 
Yet, almost every inhabitant whom he interviewed expressed differ- 
ent views. 

"My, my, if only I was imbued with more dexterity," he moaned 
again and again to Heather and Jason, "to reconcile these varying 
viewpoints." 



246 



XXII 



BART was still ill at the St. Johns camp when two orderlies 
appeared at his bedside and announced they were loading him on a 
boat for Frederica. The General, they said, was evacuating the 
camp at Anastasia and at Point Quartel and was removing all the 
sick from the St. Johns. 

Bart didn't remember much about the trip back to Frederica; 
he was very weak and slept most of the way. It was only when he 
reached Jekyll Sound that he realized there was no large flotilla of 
ships on the horizon and asked Francis Moore, who was ill on the 
pad beside him, the whereabouts of General Oglethorpe and his 
Regiment. They were staying behind, Francis said, till all the 
Carolinians and Indians and other volunteers were safely out of 
Florida. Then they would march across land to the St. Johns and 
embark on the ships still there for St. Simons. 

Ten days passed before General Oglethorpe arrived at Frederica 
and by then Bart was able to walk to the bank of the Altamaha 
and stand among the silent, morose crowd gathered there. They 
were terribly frightened by the failure of the siege and bitter and 
angry at the loss of their Highlander neighbors at Moosa. The 
Spaniards now, no doubt, would be encouraged to an early attack 
on Frederica and would massacre them as they had done the High- 
landers. 

The appearance of James Oglethorpe, though, was more shocking 
to Bart than the sullenness of the people. He seemed really ill. The 
two lines triangling out from his sharp, patrician nose to frame his 
mouth were bedded deep in his parched, coconut-brown skin and 
his cheekbones reared up starkly. And he neither smiled nor lifted 
his right arm high above his head in his old, exuberant gesture of 
salute, but held it rigidly down by his side, the fist clenched. 

247 



It hurt Bart to look at him and so, without waiting to greet him, 
he turned away and started back to the temporary lodgings he had 
taken over Samuel Davison's Tavern. Headed in the same direc- 
tion were several soldiers and Bart remarked to one of them, "The 
General appears ill." 

"Yea, and well he might be." 

"I had a fever and left as soon as the siege was lifted. Was there 
any occasion for fighting after that?" 

"No fighting, mate," the fellow assured him, "but it was a most 
woeful time. The General stayed on guard right down by the water 
till all the train and provisions were out of the harbor and then, 
with colors flying and drums beating, he marched the Regiment 
directly by that damned castle with those big, black cannon pointing 
slap at our backsides. I tell you, mate, 'twas enough to shatter the 
nerves. We marched for three miles till we reached a camping site. 
The next day we marched nine more. 5 Twas hotter than Hades 
and a blasted, bloody lot of soldiers had the flux, so we couldn't 
take it too fast. The next day we made Fort St. Diego, which the 
General ordered evacuated, and then we finally came to the St. 
Johns. And here we be, a parcel o dried-up skins and aching bones 
and parched gullets. If the General is ill, he has a good reason to 
be." 

Bart thanked the man and walked on by Davison's Tavern. He 
wanted to be by himself. The General not only seemed ill in body, 
but also ill in mind. In spite of the blazing sun, Bart shivered. 
What in God's world would become of Georgia if anything hap- 
pened to James Oglethorpe? 

This question Bart pondered many times in the weeks that fol- 
lowed, for the Georgia leader, to say the least, was not himself. He 
refused to see anyone, except Dr. Hawkins. Before the campaign, 
he had built a small two-story house of tabby and here he hid out. 
He stayed in his room, stretched out in bed or sunk deep in the 
cushions of a wing chair. 

The house was a short distance from Frederica, on the military 
road that had been cut from Frederica to St. Simons Point, just 
where it entered the woods after crossing the open, grassy land that 
served as a grazing ground for the settlers' catde. It faced the 

248 



prairie, yet it was sheltered from the hot rays of the summer sun by 
huge live oaks, curtained in moss. 

Fifty acres were attached to it and, though the clearing and plant- 
ing of it was now in the preliminary stage, the garden near the 
house was already flourishing and an orchard of young orange and 
fig trees and an arbor of grapevines were set out to one side of it 
and behind it. James Oglethorpe had modestly named it "The 
Farm." 

Daily many people walked by it, hoping to catch a glimpse of its 
owner. Many of them were still terrified and enraged at the collapse 
of the siege, which they blamed entirely on the General. Why, they 
asked, did he march that first time in sight of the castle unless he 
was prepared to bombard it? Why so much going to and fro? Did 
he just want to alert the Spaniards so they could strengthen their 
defenses ? Passing by the house, they called down lewd insults upon 
his head and some spat in the direction of his window. Loudly, 
too, they reported even the dogs in Charles Town fell to barking 
at the mention of his name. 

However, none of them had the satisfaction of seeing him; he 
continued in his room. Rumors flew wildly. Some said he was ill 
with fever that he had contracted in Florida; others said he had 
taken to the bottle; but the majority leaned to the belief that he 
was sick with disappointment and chagrin over the failure of the 
siege. 

Talk was free, especially about the barracks, that he felt that the 
South Carolina Regiment and fleet had let him down badly. In the 
first place, Colonel Vanderdussen had arrived late when time was 
of the essence; then the fleet had run just because the hurricane 
season was approaching! If the men-of-war had only blocked St. 
Augustine, as he had urged, and if they had sailed into the harbor 
and attacked the Spanish galleys, the Florida castle would now be 
his. 

Bart felt that his leader was no doubt suffering from both a 
lingering fever and a sickness of the spirit. He had always known 
that ambition rode him hard and that he was very vain of his 
accomplishments. More than likely this failure had sapped his 
desire to get well. 

249 



Bart wished he could see him. He had nothing of importance to 
say to him; he would simply like to be with him and lend him 
his ears. He believed that if he could only get him to talk out what 
was troubling him he, Bart Galloway, would be of real service to 
him and the Colony. 

So, almost hourly, day after day, Bart strolled along the white 
pickets that fenced in the front yard, peering earnestly at the up- 
stairs front windows, but not even the curtains stirred. Finally he 
decided that, in spite of the General's orders to admit no one except 
the surgeon, he would approach the house and ask to see its master. 

Resolutely he walked up the path, rapped his fist loudly on the 
middle panel of the door and waited. 

Shortly a male domestic peeped out through a narrow opening 
and said hurriedly that General Oglethorpe was receiving no one; 
he was ill. 

"Pray tell him the coxswain of his cutter is here," Bart said, 
holding his ground. 

" Tis sorry I am, sir; but I have my orders. No one, excepting 
the surgeon, is to be admitted." And he pulled the door swiftly 
shut. 

Bewildered and angry, Bart walked back to Frederica and onto 
the river landing. It was now the first of September, two full 
months since the debacle of the Florida campaign, and the General 
was still making no preparations for the inevitable Spanish in- 
vasion. Just what was to become of Georgia, of South Carolina and 
the other English Colonies? 

So lost was Bart in this problem that he didn't see the boat com- 
ing around the bend of the river, just above Frederica, until it was 
right upon him. Bells of alarm began to ring in his blood, but they 
quickly quieted when he recognized the tall, sparse figure of 
Colonel Stephens standing in the bow. 

Now what in wonder, Bart muttered to himself, could be bring- 
ing that ancient to Frederica? It must be damned serious to make 
that old chap leave the comparative safety of Savannah for the 
waterways in squally September. And where might his son be these 
days? Had he finally returned from England and claimed Heather 
for his bride? 

The boat eased into the black, mucky bank and a lowered, bon- 

250 



neted head poked out of the cabin door, followed by a small, nicely 
rounded body. Instantly Bart recognized Heather. Hell's hullabaloo, 
seeing her in Frederica was even more of a shock than seeing 
Colonel Stephens. Thomas must not have returned after all and so 
she had accompanied her future father-in-law to ask General Ogle- 
thorpe to forgive him and summon him home to her empty arms. 

Should he bid them welcome to this part of the world? Hastily 
he glanced about to note if Dr. Hawkins or any of the officers of 
General Oglethorpe's Regiment were on hand to do the honors. 
Locating no one, he grabbed off his cap and bowed. Colonel Ste- 
phens returned the bow and Heather gave him an uncertain, tenta- 
tive smile as if she were ready to take it back if Bart rebuffed it. 

He slid down the embankment then, strode to Heather's side and 
said, "At your service, ma'am." 

"I return you thanks, sir," she answered formally and her large, 
luminous gold eyes searched his face for a moment, then darted to 
Colonel Stephens. 

"And at your service, also, sir," Bart added quickly. 

" Tis very kind of you, Captain," Colonel Stephens said. "Per- 
chance, you can direct us to Davison's Tavern? *Tis my first trip 
here, you know, and it's decomposed and fatigued me so I wouldn't 
be surprised if it weren't my last." 

The Secretary was terribly jaded, Bart saw. His eyes were sunk 
beneath the overhanging brow and his face, though a purplish 
red from the wind and sun, was pinched. 

"I will be honored to show you the way, sir," Bart answered. 
"I was considering stopping in there anyway to play at hazard. 
Have you chests, sir?" 

Colonel Stephens took out a rumpled gray handkerchief and 
blew powerfully into it. "My, my, I fear I've taken cold on the 
trip." Again he blew; then crumpling up the handkerchief and 
returning it to his pocket, he said, "You were inquiring, Captain, 
about our chests? One of the sailors from the boat offered to deliver 
them to the tavern." 

Proceeding across the Parade toward Broad Street, Bart asked, 
"Colonel Stephens, may I be so bold as to inquire what brings you 
to Frederica?" 

"You may, sir; 'tis public business. I have come to confer with 

251 



His Excellency about a report I'm compiling for the Trustees on 
the state of the Colony." 

"Indeed, sir?" 

"And since I had to come, I thought Miss Forsyth, who is my 
son's fiancee, might enjoy the trip." 

"I trust she will, sir." Bart tried to keep his voice absolutely 
colorless. 

Falling silent then, they passed a group of soldiers singing; a 
boy driving a pair o oxen; a big-busted, slatternly blonde with a 
hen beneath each arm; a saddled horse tied to a hitching post. 

"Frederica appears to be quite a metropolis," the Secretary com- 
mented. 

"It does, sir, with two companies of General Oglethorpe's Regi- 
ment stationed here." Bart swayed forward to look across Colonel 
Stephens at Heather. Why was she so quiet, he wondered. Usually 
she was bubbling with gay chatter or boiling over with angry argu- 
ments. Finding her head tilted away from him as if she were un- 
concerned in the conversation, he turned back to Colonel Stephens. 

"Do you plan, sir, to remain long?" 

"Nay, I'm planning to call upon the General this very evening, 
so I may return to Savannah in the shortest possible time." 

"I'm very much afraid, sir, you won't be able to see him this 
evening. As you no doubt have heard, the General is ill." 

"Yes, I'm informed of that, but" He broke off as Bart stopped 
in front of the tavern door. "Ah, we've already arrived at Davison's, 
have we?" He glanced up at the crudely painted sign, swinging 
out from the two-story brick wall; then, standing between Bart and 
Heather, he extended his hand and said in unmistakable tones of 
dismissal, "Thank you, Captain, for showing us the way. May you 
have a good night." 

Taking the proffered hand, Bart met Heather's wide-stretched 
eyes, peering around the old man's shoulder, striving, so it seemed 
to him, to signal him some message, but he couldn't fathom what 
it could be unless she was warning him to be careful what he said, 
as this was her future father-in-law. . , . But, damme, she needn't 
concern her pretty head about that. He wasn't likely to forget it. 

Colonel Stephens, propelling Heather in front of him, started 

252 



through the door but looked back from the threshold and said, "So, 
Captain, you don't believe I can see our General tonight?" 

"I wouldn't think so, sir, but still one of your position might be 
able to arrange it through Dr. Hawkins." 

However, it was impossible to arrange and he had to content 
himself with sending the Georgia leader a packet of letters, a bot- 
tle of wine and a message that he would wait upon him in the 
morning. The wine, Colonel Stephens feared, tasted as if it were 
made from the seeds of the grape rather than the juice, but he 
trusted James Oglethorpe would enjoy it as it was a product of the 
Colony, made by Dr. Nunez. 

The next morning Dr. Hawkins did allow him to see the General 
for a few minutes and he was terribly shocked at his worn-away 
condition. He understood then he would have to wait for him to 
regain some strength before he could talk business with him. 

As patiently as he knew how, he waited; but even so he was 
exceedingly high-strung and restless. Every morning, first thing, he 
called at "The Farm," inquired how His Excellency fared, left his 
name and, plucking nervously at his lips, went away. Then the rest 
of the day he and Heather, ignoring the muggy heat and mosqui- 
toes, prowled about, inspecting the building activities on a barracks 
of tabby, ninety feet square, on the north side of the town, that was 
to house the two companies of the Regiment, and on the walls of 
earth, faced with timber eight to twelve inches thick and from ten 
to thirteen feet high, that were to enclose eventually all of Fred- 
erica. 

One afternoon, while walking, they met George Whitefield, who 
had returned from his fund-collecting tour of the North and had 
come to Frederica to protest directly to James Oglethorpe the 
removal of Charles and Peter and Sarah and Richard from the 
Orphan House while he was away. 

"If the children are to be taken out of the Orphan House when- 
ever anyone says he will maintain them, on what a precarious 
foundation does the House stand!" he expounded heatedly to them 
as if practicing for his appearance before the General. "I would as 
soon throw away my money as to expend it on such terms." 

"But if I may say so, Mr. Whitefield, I wouldn't bother His Excel- 

253 



lency with this matter now/ 5 suggested Colonel Stephens quietly. 

"But indeed, sir, I will. Here now are four children taken away, 
but what provision is made for their better parts, nay even for their 
bodies, for any considerable time?" 

"Yes, I understand, but His Excellency is quite ill." 

"That I'm well aware of, sir," George Whitefield retorted haugh- 
tily, "but nevertheless I intend the very first minute that I can see 
him to speak my mind with the meekness and resolution that be- 
comes a minister of Jesus Christ." 

Heather had to turn her head away to hide the smile she could 
not repress the word "meekness" was so incongruous on the lips 
of this fiery young man; but she felt indignation too. Why should 
this parson intrude himself on General Oglethorpe at such a time ? 
Wasn't the General troubled enough in his mind without being 
pestered by this . . . this zealot? How could the Georgia leader 
ever recover and prepare the Colony to withstand the Spaniard 
invasion if he was to be harassed by every malcontent ? 

" Tis your privilege, sir," Colonel Stephens muttered brusquely 
and took Heather's elbow to propel her on; but George Whitefield 
caught the gesture and said hurriedly, "Listen, Mr. Secretary. I in- 
tend also to inform General Oglethorpe and I hope that you, when 
you communicate with the Trustees, which I take will be very 
shortly, will inform them also that I never have and never shall 
look upon myself to be under any obligations to give them any 
particular account of monies collected or expended by me for use 
of the Orphan House." 

"I'll be glad to be of service, sir." 

"Also, Mr. Secretary, you will acquaint them, as I intend to 
acquaint General Oglethorpe, that what has been collected for the 
Salzburgers and other poor of Georgia has been due chiefly to my 
interest and therefore I have a right to the sole disposal of it, with- 
out consulting General Oglethorpe or you or any other person what- 
soever." 

Colonel Stephen's jaws hardened and an angry light flared up 
in his keen blue eyes, but he held his tongue. 

"When I go to England, the public will have an explicit account 
of everything." 

The parson sounded unbearably smug. Heather felt an urge to 
254 



catch his fat jowls between her thumb and forefinger and wiggle 
them as she would those of a sassy child. 

"I often think," he went on in the same holier-than-thou man- 
ner, "as do many others, that the Orphan House is the Colony in 
miniature/' 

Did the parson consider that statement praise for the Orphan 
House? Heather wondered. He certainly couldn't consider it a com- 
pliment to Georgia at this date, almost eight years since its found- 
ing, to compare it to an Orphan House where everyone lived on 
charity. 

Colonel Stephens firmly bade George Whitefield good day and, 
walking on, remarked to Heather, "You know, my child, the 
Trustees are now persuaded Mr. Whitefield is a hypocrite and 
ambitious of power." 

"Really, sir?" 

"Yes, 'tis what the Earl of Egmont writes me, though he himself 
excuses him on the grounds of his youth, his inexperience, unman- 
nerly education and indiscreet zeal." 

"Oh no!" protested Heather, ducking her chin and chuckling. 
"I'd prefer to be damned outright than excused on those grounds." 

Continuing their stroll toward the river, Heather saw Bart ap- 
proaching. When he reached them he inquired politely after their 
health; then invited them to accompany him down the Altamaha 
to St. Simons Point. "I understand, sir," he said to Colonel Ste- 
phens, "you were acquainted back in England with some of the 
officers of the Regiment who are stationed there." 

"Yes, that's right. Two of my old friends are there." 

Heather knew she should urge Colonel Stephens to go without 
her after all the officers were his friends but she didn't have the 
will power. 

"What time do you suggest taking off, Captain?" the Secretary 
asked. 

"Would ten o'clock in the morning be agreeable, sir? The tide 
will be running out to sea then." 

"Very agreeable." 

The next morning Bart met them at the gangplank, helped them 
aboard and waved them toward the stern where an awning would 
protect them from the sun; then he went to the bow, shouted orders 



to cast off the lines and grasped the helm; but when the sails bil- 
lowed with wind and the oars lay idle, he beckoned one of the 
crew to take over the helm and made his way back to the stern. 

Colonel Stephens was already sleeping quietly, his head hanging 
over the back of James Oglethorpe's deck chair, his thin lips puck- 
ering and unpuckering with each breath, and his long legs stretched 
straight out in front of him. Bart, grinning, moved his eyes to 
Heather's and found them bright with tender amusement. 

"Sh-sh-sh," she shushed unnecessarily, putting her finger to her 
mouth. 

Very quietly Bart eased himself down on the deck beside her. 
Without willing it, she recalled in a breath-taking rush the first 
time he had ever sat like that beside her ... that evening so long 
ago when they were returning from the visit to the ships in Tybee 
Roads. That had really been the beginning of their love affair. Was 
he remembering it, too? 

Almost stealthily, she turned her head to look at him and saw 
his eyes following two huge clumsy birds winging through the 
gold-steeped air. "An interesting thing about pelicans," he said, 
seeming to sense she was watching him, "when they dive for fish, 
they put their heads down, but leave their wings out and hit the 
water with a big splash." 

"Really?" she murmured. 

"Yes, really," he mimicked her, bringing his eyes, full of teasing, 
around to hers and holding them. 

Protestingly, she shook her head, for her heart had plummeted as 
suddenly as a pelican for a fish, sending quick, shivering ripples 
over the surface of her body. 

"But a hawk folds his wings and drops like a rock," he went on 
calmly as if she had made no move. "He comes so fast he makes a 
whistling sound, but just before he reaches the water, he puts out 
his wings a little to break the fall." 

To keep from looking at Bart, she stared at the river, falling 
fast behind them. The sun was seemingly bombing the water 
with lighted powder that sparked and sputtered until it almost 
blinded her. Sea gulls swooped up close to the boat and then 
sheared away as gracefully and effortlessly as pieces of paper caught 
in a breeze. 

256 



"Some sea gulls sleep when they're soaring," Bart said, casual 
as ever. "Early in the mornings you can see them hanging motion- 
less in the air." 

"Really?" she murmured again, tilting her head back until it 
almost touched Bart's shoulder to follow the glide of one of the 
gulls across the prow. Its feathers were as white as the skin be- 
tween her toes, except those on the tips of the wings that seemed 
to have swished through ink. 

"A sea gull's wings are joined at the elbow." 

"What do you mean, c elbow'?" she asked, but did not move. She 
could feel Bart's warm, uneven breath against her cheek and she 
was sorely tempted to turn her head just a little way and find his 
eyes. . . . 

"Halfway out the wings." 

"Halfway out the wings?" she repeated, her voice questioning. 

"See the middle of the wings? They bend, or rather curve." 

Should she turn her head? she was thinking. Should she? And 
then a freshening wind flipped the strings of her bonnet into her 
face and Bart caught them and tucked them into the neck of her 
bodice, and his knuckles were hard against her throat. 

"Thank you," she whispered and her eyes started around to 
meet his, but at the last second shied away. Just the thought of 
meeting them set her to quivering . . . and there was Colonel 
Stephens who might wake at any moment. 

Determinedly she stared at the prairies of tawny marsh on her 
right and, beyond the marsh on the mainland, the jungle of trees: 
the tall, tall silvery pines and the copper-toned cypresses; the low 
live oaks with their compact, rounded tops like tight nosegays; the 
highly polished magnolias, striking off secret signals with their 
blinker leaves; the bone-white trunks of sycamores. . . . 

"We are now passing," Bart said, still speaking very low and 
waving his hand toward a high piece of ground on the left side of 
the river, "the bluff named for Captain Gascoigne; it is where he 
had his careening ground for repairing His Majesty's ships." 

At the bottom of the bluff, on the water's edge, a narrow white 
beach was serving as a parade ground for a company of high- 
stepping, smart-groomed sandpipers. Heather drew in her breath 
with excitement and clapped both hands to her cheeks. "Oh, look 

257 



how they march in a perfectly straight line and then pivot right 
together." 

"Yes," said Bart, excited too, "they must have a General Ogle- 
thorpe." 

Heather's head tilted to one side and her deep chuckles ran out; 
then suddenly amazed at herself for laughing happily at any re- 
mark of Bart's about General Oglethorpe, she quickly stopped. Had 
he brought up the Georgia leader's name on purpose to test her 
feelings about him? She started to ask Bait right out, but her ex- 
clamation over the sandpipers had waked Colonel Stephens. 

"Did I get a little nap?" he asked, his face innocent, but his eyes 
twinkling, 

"Yes, sir, you did," Bart answered, "and you've waked just in 
time. Around this next bend we come into Jekyll Sound and on our 
left will be St. Simons Point." 

There was no further opportunity that day for Heather to talk 
privately with Bart, which she decided was just as well for he 
made her forget completely they had ever quarreled and that she 
was now engaged to be married to Thomas. 

The next morning when Colonel Stephens called at "The Farm," 
James Oglethorpe was sufficiently recovered to go over very care- 
fully the unfinished report for the Trustees and to denounce 
Thomas's behavior in the harshest terms. The Secretary left the 
interview, frightened and depressed, and announced that he was 
taking the first boat back to Savannah. 

This sudden departure was just as well, too, Heather told her- 
self. It was best for her peace of mind that eighty-odd miles of 
water and land lay between her and Bart. 



258 



Now that James Oglethorpe was improved, Bart made an- 
other effort to see him, and was admitted. 

The Georgia leader was propped up in a narrow, four-poster bed 
draped in gold-colored damask. His cheeks were pallid and wasted 
away with deep, corroding wrinkles and his lips were cracked so 
deeply bright blood beaded them, yet there was a spark of alertness 
in his hazel eyes. 

"Bart, I've had fever these many, many weeks," he began as if 
he suspected Bart had heard otherwise. "I had it all that miserable 
siege, but managed to stay on my feet until I reached here. Then 
I gave completely down." 

"I'm so sorry, sir," Bart murmured, his nerve ends twitching. 

"Bart, what a debacle that siege was! And I understand I'm held 
solely responsible for it. There is no calumny that can be said of 
a man that has not been framed and told about me. And many lies 
have arisen from those who are under the most obligations." 
Though his voice was weak, it dripped with bitterness. 

"And they aren't satisfied with lying about me in Georgia, but 
they are now going to Carolina to lie again, where the distance 
makes them easier believed and less easy to be confronted, or writ- 
ing to England, which is a still greater distance. They evidently 
work on the theory that if sufficient dirt is flung at me, some is 
bound to stick. And I am persuaded their theory is sound for I am 
sure it is impossible for the public to imagine that such a number 
of people can all be liars against one man, without reason, and he 
their benefactor." 

The General, exhausted, shut his eyes and dropped his head back 
upon the bolster. A look of utter disillusionment and discourage- 
ment sharpened his already sharpened features. 

259 



Then after a moment, with rising acidity, he said, "But there 
are plenty left behind to heap impertinences., insults and abuses 
upon me daily. I'm really at a loss, Bart, to know what measures to 
take. If I did not love these people as my children, I would be 
tempted to let them perish in their own follies." 

James Oglethorpe was suffering, Bart realized, from a martyr 
complex, which under the circumstances Bart considered natural 
and would have liked to have told him so, but couldn't find the 
words to express himself. 

In a minute or two, the General struggled up slightly from the 
bolster and waved his hand listlessly toward a campstool by the 
side of the bed, heaped with several thick packets not yet opened 
and many loose sheets of foolscap. 

"Before you came in, Bart, I was reading a letter from Mr, 
Verelst, written away back last March, acquainting me amongst 
other things of Thomas Stephens' 'Observations on the State of 
Georgia.' " 

A shock of excitement, threaded with anger, ran through Bart. 
"Damme, has that fellow had the gall to make some observations 
on Georgia?" 

"That he has and they are most outrageous to say the least. I had 
already heard about them from his father, but I was interested to 
see what Mr. Verelst had to say on the subject. Thomas Stephens 
has been a veritable Judas. I do honestly believe that if two or three 
more play the same traitorous part he has, Georgia will be com- 
pletely ruined." 

'Is everyone in Savannah sensible of this, sir?" Bart asked, but 
what he really meant was, "Is Heather sensible of this?" 

James Oglethorpe didn't seem to hear the question. His face 
dejected, he stared blankly toward the windows where a strong 
breeze from the northwest buffeted the heavy curtains. 

Finally, though, his eyes turned back to Bart. "You know, Bart, 
I'm apprehensive that I will lose my fight to keep slaves out of 
Georgia. Not right away, of course. Now the Trustees and Parlia- 
ment realize that slaves would be absolutely impracticable so close 
to the Spaniards; but when the danger from Spain is past if it 
ever is past then more than likely I will be overruled on this mat- 

260 



ter." His voice sounded very tired but, appearing to be talking 
more to himself than to Bart, he went doggedly on, "I seem to be 
ahead of the times in outlawing slavery; the people aren't, yet, 
ready to accept it* Someday, though, God willing, future genera- 
tions will embrace it and then maybe they will recall that I ab- 
horred the idea that any race of mankind should be sentenced to 
serve any other race. I'm convinced that freedom is as dear to 
Negroes as it is to us Englishmen." 

Again he fell silent, his ravaged head resting once more heavily 
upon the pillow. God, he was spent, Bart told himself. He, who 
once spoke volumes with enthusiasm, could now only say a few 
words without collapsing. 

Once more he pushed himself, breathing hard, up on his elbows. 
"But to return to Thomas Stephens' 'Observations.' The Trustees 
want me to send them a description of all fortifications in the 
Colony with their situations and the cannons mounted on each so 
they can present it to the Parliament along with a lot of other 
information they've asked Colonel Stephens to gather. All this labor, 
mark you, to refute the lying charges of a good-for-nothing rascal." 

Slowly he leaned over and picked up the loose sheets from the 
stool; then fell back. There were a dozen pages at least and he 
shuffled through them, reading extracts at random. " 'The Trustees 
are sorry that you think their estimate for this year is too short, 
they being obliged to confine their expenses to as narrow a compass 
as possible. . . .'" He sounded angry as well as unhappy. " 'The 
Troops of Rangers, the officers to head the Indians, the Garrison at 
Augusta, and the Intelligencers in the Indian nations may all be 
very proper expenses for the public to bear at this time, but as the 
Trustees cannot bear them without breach of their Trust, they refer 
you back . . .'" 

James Oglethorpe's voice died away and his chin touched his 
chest. Alarmed, Bart jumped up, but before he reached him the 
Georgia leader lifted his head, gave him a brief, wry grin and sank 
back upon the bed. In a matter of minutes he was breathing evenly 
in a deep sleep. 

Whether talking had helped his leader Bart couldn't decide as 
he tiptoed out; nevertheless, he would come back often, even daily 

261 



if Dr, Hawkins allowed it, and listen just as long as James Ogle- 
thorpe had something to say and, now and then, when the oppor- 
tunity offered, he would inject words of encouragement and praise. 

Meanwhile in Savannah, Colonel Stephens finished the report 
on the Colony and requested the Magistrates to appoint a day for 
holding Court so the people might hear it read. 

Heather knew she wouldn't be expected to sign the report no 
woman was but just the same she went to the meeting. 

As usual the Magistrates sat on the bench upon the rostrum while 
Colonel Stephens occupied a seat on the front row in the audience. 
The Magistrates did not recognize him as an official and the few 
members of the Scots group who still remained in Savannah had 
recently belittlingly labeled him "the Observator." 

The Court convening, he limped to the desk, for he had a boil on 
his leg that was paining him extremely, cleared his throat and 
opened the report. It began with Georgia's location and boundaries, 
James Oglethorpe's treaty with the Indians and the number of 
houses and good habitable huts now in Savannah 142. Then it 
continued: 

"The soil in general is productive of Indian corn, rice, peas, 
potatoes, pompions, melons and many other kind of gourds in 
great quantities. Wheat, oats, barley and other European grains 
'tis found by divers experiments may be propagated in many 
parts (more especially in the uplands toward Augusta) with 
success. Mulberry trees and vines agree exceedingly well with 
the soil and climate and so does the annual cotton, whereof 
large quantities have been raised. . . ." 

It sounded easy when Colonel Stephens read it, Heather mused, 
No mention of the beating-down strokes of sun in summer and the 
creeping-inside-the-bones rain of winter and the backaches and 
insect bites and blisters. Absently, she cradled one hand in the other 
and rubbed her thumb over the tough, yellow-brown calluses at 
the base of her small fingers. Yet, she really hadn't minded the 
hard work; she had only resented those regulations that prevented 
the work from meaning anything. 

262 



On went Colonel Stephens' flat voice: 

"The persons sent from England on the Charity were of the 
unfortunates, many of whom have, by their industry, proved 
they deserved better and have thriven; many also showed they 
were brought into these misfortunes by their own faults; and 
when those who quitted their own country to avoid labor saw 
labor stand before their eyes in Georgia they were easily per- 
suaded to live in Carolina by cunning, rather than work. . . ." 

Heather felt herself getting hot and angry. She hoped to God 
Colonel Stephens wasn't going to blame Georgia's unproductiveness 
on the laziness of the settlers. She pricked up her ears. Blood and 
wounds! he was coming very close to it. 

He read: 

"The ability of the inhabitants to support themselves must 
still in a great measure depend on the industry and frugality 
of each. Divers in the Province who understand planting and 
are already settled, provided they can obtain some livestock, 
can and do support themselves. Men working for hire, boat- 
men, pack-horsemen and so forth support themselves very well, 
if they will work. . . . Shopkeepers, tradesmen and artificers, 
such as tallow chandlers, soap-boilers, brasiers, saddlers, shoe- 
makers, tanners and so forth live very well on their businesses 
here " 

The Secretary's voice grew hoarse and he stopped to drink wa- 
ter from a pewter goblet. Heather wondered why Henry or Jason 
didn't read some of it for him. In another five minutes the old 
gentleman would be whispering. But finally he was done and the 
room was filled momentarily with a vast silence. 

Then Andrew Duchee, the potter, jumped to his feet and shouted, 
"That what you've just read, Colonel Stephens, contained more oil 
than corn." 

The audience sprang alive. 

"I want you to know," Andrew continued, "I came here expect- 

263 



ing to hear the people's grievances set forth and remedies proposed 
for redressing them and, instead, what do I hear ? . . ." 

The hubbub swelled so loudly Heather lost the rest of his words. 
She could only see his lips moving and his fist pummeling the air. 

So here, Heather thought wryly, they all were again, protesting, 
fuming, rowing, hissing. ... It was exactly as if Georgia didn't 
have her back to the wall in a war. Oh, if Thomas had not intro- 
duced the issue in Parliament at this time! And oh, if Colonel 
Stephens hadn't had to draw up this paper that must necessarily 
put a rosy light on conditions. 

Insistently Colonel Stephens rapped for order. "Quiet, please! 
Quiet! Pray may I have your attention? Quiet please! I said may 
I have your attention? I wish to say I do not consider it the present 
business of the Court to attend to a controversy that might arise 
from this paper." He ran his tongue around his dry lips. "That is 
why, gentlemen, I determined not to ask anyone to sign it, for 
unless it is signed voluntarily, I think it is of little value. I will sign 
it now and then I will leave it to everyone to do just as he pleases." 

With deliberation he leaned over, picked up a quill from the desk, 
dipped it into the ink and wrote his name. Immediately Jason 
stepped forward. Heather was sure Jason did not agree with all the 
statements in the report, but felt as she did that all Georgians 
must present a united front in this time of crisis. General Ogle- 
thorpe simply must secure a large appropriation from Parliament 
to prepare for any eventuality. Then Noble Jones moved up. 
Heather hadn't seen him for many months, for, since returning 
from the siege of St. Augustine, he had been made commander of 
a scout and guard boat, carrying ten men, to watch the Skidoway 
Narrows for Spanish ships. Next Joseph and John Milledge signed; 
but before anyone else could come forward if he was of a mind to, 
Andrew, growling, stomped from the building. 

It was the signal for everybody to jump up, mill about in the 
aisles and scream at each other whether to go or to stay. Thomas 
Causton was in the midst of them, though at first Heather didn't 
recognize him. He was no longer the huge, fleshy man with the 
ballooned-out stomach and puffy jowls who had arrived in Savan- 
nah, but was crumpled and wrinkled as if he had been stuck with a 
sharp instrument. And so he had in a way. His only son, about the 

264 



age of Bobby, had recently died o fever, and shortly afterwards his 
wife had followed the son. The Savannahians were positive she had 
died of a broken heart. 

Now watching Thomas Causton in the middle of the hullabaloo. 
Heather couldn't help feeling sorry for him. His money could mean 
little to him now. And yet, just think how much it had cost him. 
Though Colonel Stephens and Jason had not found sufficient evi- 
dence to make a watertight case in court against him, they had 
found enough to convince them and others that he was guilty of 
stealing from the Trust. 

When the courtroom was more than half cleared, Henry suc- 
ceeded in restoring order and Colonel Stephens announced: "Gen- 
tlemen, I only want to add that this book will lay open at my house 
till I find an opportunity to send it to the Trust and if any of you 
who have not signed it have an inclination to do so, but have some 
scruples about it, you are very welcome to read it over and ask me 
anything concerning it that you do not understand and I will do all 
in my power to convince you of the truth of those points that 
trouble you." 

In the days following, the bitterness grew more intense. Heather 
couldn't walk on the streets without overhearing members of the 
opposition crying out that Colonel Stephens and the others who 
had signed the account were perjured wretches and had sealed 
their own damnation. 

One evening when she, Jason and Colonel Stephens passed the 
doorway of Mother Penrose's, where the remnants of the Scottish 
discontents hung out since the Jenkinses had gone away, Andrew 
called out, "You, Mr. Observator, are a tool of the devil!" 

"My, my," said the old gentleman, "if only General Oglethorpe 
were here to witness the strange confusion into which we have 
fallen!" 

Thank God he wasn't here, Heather thought. He would never 
be able to recover in the midst of such bedlam. 

One source of discord, however, passed from the scene in a few 
weeks. George Whitefield, who had returned from Frederica full 
of indignation evidently General Oglethorpe had spoken no words 
to soothe his ruffled feelings left for England, vowing he wanted 
nothing more to do with Georgia. In his farewell sermon, which he 

265 



preached with such pathos that both he and the congregation wept 
and groaned aloud, he bewailed once again the small number of 
converts he had made during his stay and the forlorn situation of 
the Colony. 

"It will never prosper," he prophesied, "till the present generation 
is all worn out, like the Israelites in the wilderness." 

"That shouldn't be too far off," Jason whispered to Heather with 
a wry grin, "judging from the way I feel now. 1 ' 



266 



XXIV 



SLOWLY James Oglethorpe got back his strength and by the 
coming of the new year was his active, vigorous self again. He 
plunged into new plans for Georgia's defense and dictated letters 
furiously, pleading for help. 

"I'm writing to everybody," he declared with his old fire one 
evening when Bart dropped into his new headquarters in the bar- 
racks, where he was drinking wine and discussing the Colony's 
situation with Major Heron and Lieutenants Sutherland, Mackay 
and Maxwell. "I'm writing the Trustees and all my friends in the 
Parliament that we simply must have enough boats and troops to 
defend this place. We've got to have assistance. Lots of assistance. 
I don't need to acquaint you, gendemen, that this Province is 
exceedingly exposed and that we have no defense to speak of if 
Vernon's expedition against Havana fails." 

Bart was well aware by now that the British-Spanish conflict 
involved more than a struggle between Florida and Georgia; it had 
already spread over the West Indies and the English Admiral 
Vernon and General Wentworth had recently suffered a terrible 
defeat at Cartagena when they tried to wrest that stronghold from 
Spain; in fact more than 3,000 Englishmen, over half their strength, 
had been killed. Now James Oglethorpe was praying that the 
Admiral, in spite of that catastrophe, would sail for Cuba and at- 
tack Havana, for he felt that as long as the Spaniards were occupied 
there, they wouldn't be able to increase their forces at St. Augustine 
for the Georgia invasion. 

"I'm sure as I'm sitting here," James Oglethorpe went on, "if the 
siege of Havana miscarries, we will be visited by a very large 
Spanish force, which will be fatal in our present circumstances. We 

267 



have neither cannon, engineers, fortifications, troops, nor provisions 
for defense." 

He fell silent as he refilled his wineglass; then continued. "There 
is a chance our tragedy might be prevented if it were possible for 
the Trust to send me a large number of laboring men, either 
Bretons or Germans, sufficient to fortify at least one place well on 
this island. As you men know, the enlisted men balk at working 
on the fortifications; they say that's not what they are in the army 
for; and the civilians won't work on them though I've offered them 
twelve pence a day. Of course, when the enemy is at our gates, their 
attitude no doubt will change; but then it will be too late." 

He sighed, took a sip from his glass and said, "I also need funds 
for two troops of Rangers, one for the mainland and one for the 
islands; and for at least four hundred Indians, but preferably five 
hundred, and that takes, as I've learned from experience, a mini- 
mum of ten pounds sterling per head. Then there are the interpre- 
ters and their expenses. I also need one year's provisions always on 
hand for the Regiment and at least a hundred men with armed 
boats and sloops to protect the coast. I can hardly hope that Eng- 
land will bear that much expense and yet, if she doesn't . . ." He 
waited dramatically, slowly looking around the circle. ". . . if she 
doesn't we're lost." 

The need for boats became more apparent with each passing 
week. Three English ships were taken off the southern coast of 
South Carolina and carried to St. Augustine. One of them, the 
Crawford, was such a big ship (her cargo was estimated to be 
worth 15,000 pounds sterling) she had to be unloaded outside the 
bar, which enabled two British Marines to escape in a lifeboat to 
the Georgia lookout on Amelia Sound, where Bart picked them up 
and brought them to Frederica. 

James Oglethorpe went into a rage at the Marines' story of the 
capture. "Why in God's name," he shouted, his face blotched, his 
fist clenched, "should British shipping be at the mercy of Spanish 
galleys right off the Carolina and Georgia shores? Why will the 
commander of His Majesty's ships at Charles Town keep the men- 
of-war at his disposal lying snugly in that harbor while such in- 
dignities are taking place only a few miles away? Why don't the 
268 



men-of-war get out and protect the English sails as they are sup- 
posed to do? Are they too lazy? Too indifferent? Too yellow- 
bellied? By God," he cried, his voice sharp with sarcasm, "our coast 
is well guarded by Spanish privateers!" 

He stopped for breath, then broke out again: "The most humili- 
ating feature of the whole affair is that there are just two .little 
Spanish privateers that are causing all this havoc. Why, their largest 
ship is just a high-stern, black sloop with a hundred sixty men on 
board and, as I well know, is a very heavy sailer." 

Again he got off urgent dispatches. This time to Charles Town 
to the naval commander, to the speaker of the Carolina Assembly 
and to many others. Then he began the construction of a guard 
sloop to be mounted with fourteen guns and manned with eighty 
sailors and, when it was nearing completion, he ordered Bart to 
Savannah to enroll as many men as possible for sea service. 

Just a few days before Bart's arrival, Heather and Colonel Ste- 
phens received letters from Thomas, announcing that he was in 
Charles Town and would see them soon. Heather was completely 
unprepared for the news. Naturally she had expected Thomas to 
return, but she had had no warning that he was even leaving Lon- 
don and so was in no frame of mind to face him. For some time 
now she had known she didn't love him any longer and had tried 
to blame her change of heart on his behavior in England; but she 
was honest enough to admit that wasn't the whole truth. 

Colonel Stephens was as unprepared for his coming as she, and 
was much more outspoken. "Perhaps I shouldn't say it, Heather," 
he said, "but I dread a meeting with him. I can't begin to tell you 
the convulsions I felt within me upon breaking the bands of pa- 
ternal affection and now to have him come back . . ." He spread 
wide his thin, blue-veined, knotty hands in a gesture of despair. 
"I pray with all my heart that you, my child, will never fall under 
the misfortune of having to deal with an obstinate and disobedient 
son." 

Thomas arrived while Heather was staying at Colonel Stephens' 
house in order to nurse him, for he had another boil on his leg and 
all his servants were indisposed. Heather thought the coming of hot 
weather thickened the old gentleman's blood, causing these erup- 

269 



tions to break out, or else he absent-mindedly scratched mosquito 
bites until they became infected. She had been able to get Rachael 
Ure, who had taken up maid's work, to come in by the day to do 
the heaviest chores; but she couldn't leave the Secretary to her care. 

Heather met Thomas at the door and swiftly, impetuously, he 
put his arms around her and pressed his warm, soft lips hard 
against hers. 

"Not here, Thomas," she whispered and struggled loose. "Your 
father . . ." She turned and hurried back into the bedroom where 
Colonel Stephens was sitting with his bandaged leg propped on a 
gout stool. 

At the sight of Thomas, Colonel Stephens made no move to rise 
or extend his hand. His long jaws hard, his eyes glinting, he stared 
evenly at his son for a full minute; then said stiffly as if speaking 
to a stranger, "I don't understand, Thomas, why you've come to 
this house, I have no bed for you here. Heather is occupying your 
room." 

"Oh, no," Heather protested in her heart. Colonel Stephens 
shouldn't talk this way to his own flesh and blood. Thomas had 
acted rashly, stupidly; but certainly his father was partly to blame, 
as she was herself. He shouldn't turn on him now and treat him 
as if he were a pariah. 

Colonel Stephens, though, was afraid to treat Thomas any other 
way. He must keep his heart steeled against him; if he once let 
down the bars and showed him any affection, he might forgive him 
for what he had done and feel the old paternal yearning and devo- 
tion he had once had for him. And, of course, this would never, 
never do. He must keep Thomas at arm's length; he must show 
Savannah and the world that he had cut off all relations with this 
traitor to the Colony. 

"That's perfectly all right, Father," Thomas answered good- 
naturedly. "I don't mind sleeping on a pallet in the parlor." Then 
noticing for the first time in the dim room his father's bandaged 
leg, he frowned and asked excitedly, "But say, sir, what is the 
matter with your leg?" 

Colonel Stephens ignored the question. Clenching his jaws so 
tightly that they quivered just below his ears, he said through 
narrowed lips, "But I have no pallet either, Thomas." 

270 



"Well don't worry about that, sir. I can fashion one out of moss. 
It won't be the first time I've bedded down in moss." 

Very deliberately and icily, Colonel Stephens pronounced the 
next words. "The point is, Thomas, I no longer care to lodge under 
the same roof with you." Then he clamped his mouth shut to pre- 
vent its trembling. 

Thomas stiffened, his face paled, and his eyes widened in amaze- 
ment and disbelief. For a long, long moment he said nothing; he 
scarcely even seemed to breathe. The silence was complete, tense, 
almost unbearable. Then very quietly he said, "I see, sir." 

"You can get a room, I feel sure, at Penrose's or one of the other 
public houses." 

Thomas bowed his head; then slowly, hesitantly, as if waiting for 
his father to say something more, he turned and walked out into 
the hall. 

On the verge of tears, Heather followed him. "Oh, Thomas," she 
said in a low, pained voice, catching his arm with both her hands 
and pulling it tight against her breast. "I'm so sorry; so woefully, 
woefully sorry." 

His bewildered, hurt, liquid brown eyes looked down into her 
upturned, distressed face. "I'm sure you are, my darling," he mur- 
mured and leaned over and kissed her gently. His mouth was 
velvety soft. 

How could she ever tell him she had changed, she wondered 
frantically. Especially now when his father had turned him out. 
Yet she had to tell him the very first time that they were alone 
together. Maybe, though, she could put off that hour until this blow 
from Colonel Stephens had eased somewhat. 

"When can I see you, my sweet?" Thomas asked, his voice 
urgent. 

"I'm not sure, Thomas, but I'm afraid not right away. I can't 
leave your father until he is better and it might make him really 
ill if you return to the house." 

"What is the matter with him?" 

"He has a very bad boil on his leg." 

"Oh, is that all?" Thomas sounded relieved. 

"But it is very painful." 

"I'm sure it is and I wouldn't want to do anything to upset him 

271 



more than he already is; but I intend to see you this evening, 
Heather, no matter what. We've already been apart much too long." 
So that evening when Heather had got Colonel Stephens to bed, 
she sat on the steps outside the kitchen door, pondering the least 
hurtful way to tell Thomas she didn't love him. Rubbing her finger 
across her upper lip, she leaned her head back against the house and 
looked up at the bright, thick net of stars. It was a still night: no 
wind, no siaging or brawling in the streets, no call so far from the 
guards with the assurance that all was well. . . . She heard only 
the light clatter of the bowls and mugs from the kitchen as Rachael 
washed them and the hoarse croaking of frogs from a nearby piece 
of swampy ground. 

Without surprise, she saw Thomas come through the gate in the 
alley fence. "I wasn't desirous of seeing Father again today," he 
said, settling himself beside her, "so I chose the back way. I figured 
I might find you out here." His eyes, smiling, sought hers. "I 
remembered you never were affrighted of the night air and always 
had a fondness for the back steps." 
"Yea," she murmured, smiling too. 

He leaned over, his hands clasped between his spraddled legs, 
and peered intently into her face. "How are you, my darling?" 
Promptly she answered, "Unhappy. Wretchedly unhappy." 
"In God's name why, sweetheart?" He made no move to touch 
her; just continued to peer up at her, his shining, adoring eyes wide 
with questioning. 

She waited a moment before answering, her head cocked to hear 
if Rachael was finished in the kitchen; then, all being quiet there, 
she said, "It is you I'm unhappy about, Thomas dear. I ... I ... 
I don't love you any more, and I don't know how to tell you." 

"I would say you've told me very well/' he answered shortly, but 
not really angrily. Evidently he considered it a statement that he 
could with a little argument get her to withdraw. He reached over 
and took one of her hands; diligently worked his long, slender 
fingers deeply between hers; then rested her hand, back down, 
along his upper leg. "I suppose you are of the opinion that you've 
stopped loving me because I'm trying to do something about the 
status quo here in the Colony?" 

272 



"Partly, Thomas. I feel all such agitation should have ended the 
day England declared war on Spain." 

"But, Heather, I assure you I have no motive other than to bring 
about these long-needed changes for Georgia's good." 

"But, Thomas, don't you see that this is not the time to work for 
these changes; your duty now is to work to unite all the settlers here 
so the Colony will be strengthened." 

Thomas rubbed her hand gently along his thigh. "That's exactly 
what I'm trying to do, Heather strengthen the Colony." 

"Do you consider it strengthening the Colony when you slander 
its leaders? You didn't exempt anyone, you know. Not General 
Oglethorpe; not your own father; not Henry; not anybody." 

"I didn't write, nor did I approve, that part of the 'Observations' 
that reflected on Georgia's leaders." 

"But you must shoulder the responsibility, Thomas. The 'Obser- 
vations' did appear under your name and 'twas absolutely disgrace- 
ful what they either said or intimated about General Oglethorpe 
and the others." 

Thomas gave Heather a puzzled look through the early-evening 
darkness. "It rings strange on your tongue. Heather, this defense 
of General Oglethorpe." 

"Well, it shouldn't," she answered impatiently. "I'm still not fond 
of him, but we are at war now, remember, and General Oglethorpe 
is the commander-in-chief of the forces of Georgia and Carolina 
and if we are to be saved from the Spaniards, he is the man who 
must do it. I, for one, believe it behooves us to be loyal to him." 

For several seconds Thomas was silent, his hand still clasped 
firmly about Heather's; then, sighing, he said, "So, because of the 
'Observations' you no longer hold me in affection?" 

"No, Thomas, frankly it isn't . . ." She hesitated now, struggling 
to find the right words, her free hand doubled into a fist and beat- 
ing against her mouth. "Thomas, dear ... it is because of ... of 
Bart Galloway. I've never really stopped loving him." 

Thomas flung her hand away from him and jerked his head 
about as if she had slapped him. "You're lying," he said harshly. 
"You're just saying that to punish me." 

"Oh, Thomas, how I wish I were!" Tears overflowed her eyes 

273 



and washed down her cheeks. *Tm miserable about it. Simply 
miserable. I honestly thought I had put him completely out of my 
mind when I promised to wed you." She lifted her bent arm and 
wiped the tears away with her sleeve. "I wouldn't have deceived 
you intentionally for anything." 

"You remember I asked you point-blank if you loved him?" 

"Yes." 

"And you said no, you did not?" 

"I didn't think I did, Thomas." 

"So, you were just lying through your teeth, eh? Just lying so 
you could make another conquest." 

"Oh no, Thomas! I swear I thought I was telling you the truth." 

He didn't answer that; but sat in silence, his face set hard and 
ugly as if it were hacked roughly from wood. 

"I'm so sorry, Thomas. So very sorry. I do hope you will forgive 
me and continue to be my friend." 

She stole a glance at him. His eyes, suspiciously bright, were 
staring straight ahead. 

"You will forgive me, Thomas?" she asked again, determined to 
make him reassure her, "You will continue to be my friend, won't 
you?" 

Still he said nothing. 

"Please, Thomas dear, let us always be friends." Her voice was 
choked with sobs. "Please, tell me that you will forgive me and be 
my friend." 

At last he turned on her, his eyes blazing, and said in such cold 
fury she involuntarily drew back, "Goddamn, Heather, don't talk 
like a blasted jackass. Of course to hell I'll never forgive you. If 
you were the last woman on earth I wouldn't have you for a friend. 
What do you want a lover to throw over whenever you feel like 
it? No thank you! I've had enough. I'm through." 

"Oh, Thomas," Heather wept. "Oh Thomas . . ." 

She wept, though, to the empty air. Thomas, without another 
word, had jumped up from the steps and gone through the alley 
gate. 

For a long time she cried very hard. She knew she had hurt him 
terribly and she was heartsick over it. In spite of the part he had 
played in London, she was very, very fond of him. 
274 



A noise from the kitchen like the scurrying of feet startled her. 
She swallowed her sobs and listened, but heard nothing further. 
There must be rats, she decided, and got up and went inside. 



275 



XXV 



A PEW days after Heather broke off with Thomas, Colonel 
Stephens affixed a public notice on the Courthouse door, urging all 
the settlers to be present when the Court convened on the first 
Wednesday of the month as he had many things by the order of 
the Trustees "to impart." 

Heather and Jason, of course, attended, and so did Bart, who had 
arrived from Frederica the evening before. Glimpsing him unex- 
pectedly on the far side of the room, Heather's heart flipped shut 
like the fan in the hand of a Spanish dancer and, forgetting for 
the moment that the last time she had seen him had been on the 
cutter at St. Simons, she now asked herself bitterly would she 
always have to look at him across the width of this courtroom. She 
was sure she had seen him more often under this roof than any 
other place and always separated by many people. 

He felt her eyes upon him and he turned his head toward her, 
bowed slightly and smiled in a friendly fashion. Did he know that 
Thomas was in Savannah? she wondered uneasily. 

As soon as the Court came to order, Colonel Stephens hobbled, 
with the aid of his cane, to the platform, stood relaxed at the end 
of the table and began to read extracts from letters of the Trust, 
reaffirming the Trustees' kind intentions toward the inhabitants 
and expressing the hope that they would unite in their endeavors 
to cultivate the land, planting, especially, mulberry trees for the 
feeding of silkworms, and grapevines. He read them in the most 
endearing fashion; Heather thought she had never heard his flat 
voice so persuasive. 

Nevertheless, many among the audience grew restless and the 
minute he finished, Andrew Duchee jumped to his feet and cried 
sneeringly, "Why do you read piecemeal from those letters? Why 

276 



don't you read us those parts that you know very well will not bear 
the light instead of reading us just the sugarplums? Why " 

Henry banged the gavel hard enough to split it and shouted, 
"There must be silence hin the Court! Mr. Duchee will kindly take 
'is seat and not hinterrupt again." 

Almost meekly Colonel Stephens made his way back to his place 
in the audience. 

There were still mutterings and rumblings, but Henry ignored 
them. Slamming the gavel rapidly a half-dozen times, he said, 
"Now the clerk of the Court will read the new Constitution of the 
Colony of Georgia." 

The people couldn't believe their ears. "What did he say?" almost 
half the audience asked the other half; then sat dumbfounded as 
the clerk read the document. 

Without warning, the Trustees had completely changed Georgia's 
form of government. They relieved James Oglethorpe of all the 
civil affairs of Savannah and its outlying villages, which they desig- 
nated as the County of Savannah, and appointed Colonel Stephens, 
with the title of president, and with four assistants, one of them 
Henry, to take his place. 

A shocked, paralyzed hush followed the closing words, and 
Henry, his eyes protruding with excitement, took advantage of it 
to cry, "The Court is hadjourned!" 

Then Andrew Duchee came to and jumped to his feet. "I ask 
leave, sir, to say a few words," 

"I'm sorry, Mr. Duchee," Henry answered importantly, "but this 
body being hadjourned, hit is himpossible for you to address your- 
self to hit." 

"Then I will address myself to the new president." 

Deliberately, with both hands spread on the lower sides of his 
back, Colonel Stephens rose and turned to face the courtroom. 
Drawing in a long breath that lifted his flat chest, he said very 
quietly, "This is not the time nor the place for a discourse; but 
even when properly sitting, I don't think my assistants and I shall 
allow ourselves to be broken in upon by tedious harangues, consist- 
ing of many generalities, in the hope that we will enter the lists 
of disputation with a number of clamorous people whom nothing 
will satisfy." 

277 



Heather, hearing these rolling words, cut her eyes around to 
Bart. He was listening with a slight smile of amusement and ad- 
miration about his parted lips. 

Andrew became enraged. Spitting a stream of tobacco juice on 
the floor, he bellowed, "Nay, I will have my say now. Here we 
witness an announced alteration in the government of the Colony, 
but no alteration has been made by which our poor, shabby lives 
may be a bit easier. The Trustees " 

"How monstrous!" Colonel Stephens interrupted so furiously that 
Andrew stood mute, the corners of his dropped-open mouth a wet 
brown. "How monstrous must this sound in any man's ears to hear 
a chap utter such impertinences, who never has been at one farth- 
ing's expense for building or cultivating of lands during his whole 
abode, but who has lived completely, except for a few odd jobs, on 
the Trustees." 

Then Colonel Stephens announced with a positiveness that 
Heather decided must have been born with the office of president, 
"The meeting is adjourned," and walked almost with arrogance, in 
spite of his limp, out of the courtroom. 

Heather would have liked to have waited about to see if Bart 
would seek her out; but just before the convening of the Court, 
Colonel Stephens had invited her, Jason, Henry, Anne and a few 
others to join him afterwards at his house. At the time she had 
thought it a most curious invitation, but now she realized he 
wanted to celebrate the honor that the Trustees had bestowed upon 
him. They had entirely vindicated him of any complicity in 
Thomas's actions and naturally he was greatly relieved. 

"Long live the President!" toasted Henry, recklessly waving his 
glass of wine above his head as soon as everyone was served. 

"Long live the President!" the guests echoed and then froze. 
Thomas stood in the doorway of the parlor. 

He was now more notorious than when he had first returned 
to Savannah. Instead of mending his ways, he had become fever- 
ishly active among the dissenters, and had got himself elected as their 
agent to push their designs in London. 

Colonel Stephens, who had his back to the door, saw the startled 
looks, swung about and then grew rigid along the whole length of 
his sparse body. 

278 



"Papa," Thomas began timidly, but an impatient, angry gesture 
of his father's left hand cut him off. 

"Well, well, how is the agent this morning?'* Colonel Stephens 
drawled with acid sarcasm. 

Thomas's thin, sensitive face paled and his almost doglike brown 
eyes clouded over; but he answered evenly, "Congratulations, Papa. 
Just as soon as I heard I came by to tell you " 

"Never mind, Thomas!" Hurriedly Colonel Stephens stepped 
forward, took Thomas by the arm and propelled him into the hall. 

Evidently, he considered they would be out of hearing of the 
guests there; but a strained, painful silence settled over the parlor 
and, after a minute or two, when their ears got adjusted to the 
voices, Heather and those near the doorway caught the last half of 
the exchange between the two. 

"My son, in spite of everything you've done, I, fatherlike, still 
hold you in great tenderness," Colonel Stephens said, his voice 
drained of all sarcasm and very gentle. No longer frightened over 
what Thomas's actions might do to his relationship with the Trus- 
tees, the old gentleman was now sincerely concerned about him and 
his future. Since he, as president of Georgia, had attained a goal 
even higher than he had ever dreamed, he yearned with all his 
heart to be of help to Thomas. 

"Son," he went on, "I want to offer you one more piece of advice. 
Why don't you fly out of the Colony before you're taken hold of 
on suspicion of carrying on the designs of our enemies? For you 
know, Thomas, we here are very conscious of the fact that the 
Spaniards are employing agents in most of these American Prov- 
inces to stir up discord, which can do us more mischief than open 
arms. And no matter, my boy, how innocent you yourself may be, 
you can very possibly be in the employ of agents who deserve to be 
hanged." 

Heather glanced through the doorway and saw tears glistening 
on the colonel's sunken cheeks. 

"But, Papa," Thomas began, then stopped. He looked miserably 
unhappy, too, and Heather was swamped with a wave of pity. 
Poor, dear, misguided fellow. He would have never turned against 
the Colony, she felt sure, if General Oglethorpe hadn't been so 
harsh with him. He had not been guilty of trying to steal from the 

279 



Crown's stores, she was positive, and the injustice of that accusation 
had no doubt eaten at his vitals until he was driven to these lengths. 

Entreatingly, Colonel Stephens continued, "Son, I beg of you to 
go some place far away. . . . Any place, my son, just so I will see 
you no more in this Colony." 

For some time Thomas didn't answer. He stood with his dark 
head bowed and his shining, buckled pumps moving to and fro on 
the bare boards. Then he said, "I'm planning to leave, Papa, just as 
soon as I get my final instructions." 

"Your final instructions?" Colonel Stephens repeated in a voice of 
shocked unbelief; then he cackled madly. 

It scared Heather. She thought he had gone out of his mind. 

But as quickly as he flared up, he subsided and, his voice again 
gentle, he said, "My son, this is probably the last meeting we two 
shall ever have on this earth, yet I can utter very little . . . the 
oppression of my spirit is too great." 

"I understand, Papa." 

"But I beg you once more, Thomas, to look back over your life 
and consider what dangerous ways you have got into." More tears 
slid down his deeply seamed face. "You are following a course that 
is certain to bring upon yourself both sorrow and shame." 

There was another long silence and Heather pressed her napkin 
to her mouth to stifle her sobs. She was oblivious of everything and 
everybody except those two in the hallway. 

At last Thomas whispered brokenly, "I hope, sir, you will con- 
tinue to look upon me as your son." But he didn't look at his father 
or put out his hand. He simply turned away from him and left. 
That evening he went on board a boat sailing for Charles Town. 

The next morning Heather, low in spirit, walked to the Lot to 
set out some grapevine slips that Colonel Stephens had given her. 
She was afraid it was a little early to plant vines or shrubs, for it 
was only October and the weather was still very warm; but, as they 
had come from Portugal and been a long time on the way and had 
not been packed in any dirt at all, they were badly dried out, so 
perhaps the sooner they got into the ground the more likely they 
would be to live. 

As she was digging the sixth hole, she heard the thud of a 
280 



horse's hoofs and raised up to see Bart riding through the woods 
toward her. Instantly her heart began to race and she dropped the 
spade and pressed both hands against her breast to slow it. 

Waving his arm slightly out from his body in greeting, Bart 
trotted the horse up to the split-pine rails that fenced in the Lot, 
lifted himself out of the saddle and looped the reins about the top 
rail. 

Without a word, Heather walked to the fence, climbed the stile 
and held out her hand to him. Then, side by side, they strolled into 
a small grove of trees where a little stream, black-brown as molas- 
ses, eased lazily toward the river. Inside the wood, the air was soft 
and sweet. Only a few trees had lost their leaves; the dogwoods, 
the sweet gums and the water maples were still as richly red and 
glowing as children's cheeks, and all the sycamores were gold- 
leafed. 

On the bank of the stream was a felled log and Heather started 
toward it; but swiftly Bart spun her toward him and took her in his 
hard arms. Hungrily his mouth came down upon hers and swung 
back and forth across it, working it open. Farther and farther he 
pressed her head back until she would have lost her balance except 
for his support, and then he locked her against him, raised her feet 
ofE the ground and carried her to a cleared space beneath a moss- 
hung oak. 

One hot shaft of sun speared sharply through a crevice of the dark 
leaves. Insects whirred like heavy breathing; a blue jay chirped and 
a woodpecker knocked at the gray-green trunk of a holly, peppered 
with bright red berries. 

Their union was headlong. Bart loved her as if he were furious 
with her, pulling her now here, now there; kissing her wildly, 
incessantly, and then forgetting to kiss her at all; and finally, falling 
exhausted, sobbing against her. 

For a long time they lay close in each other's arms, their faces 
wet, their breathing fast; but at last they loosed one another and 
stretched out side by side, gazing up through the chinks in the 
blackish oak at the odd-shaped buttons of bright blue sky. The sun 
had reached its zenith and all the little forest animals, birds and 
insects were still. 

281 



Finally Heather broke the silence. "Why, my precious, did you 
wait so long to come back to me?" 

He picked up her small hand and rubbed his fingers across the 
palm. "Isn't it enough, my sweet, that I'm back now?" 

"No, I want to know why you didn't make up with me sooner?" 
She turned on her side and reached out her free hand to fondle his 
cheeks, his brow, his hair. 

"Well, I'll tell you. For a long time I was too angry to come back. 
I felt, Heather, you were most unjust to a very great man and I 
resented it. You rode General Oglethorpe all the time, remember? 
No matter what he said or did you found fault with him." 

Heather withdrew her hand from Bart's hair and turned onto her 
back, her lips set quite firmly together. 

"To be brutally frank, lass, I felt you were mean and little about 
General Oglethorpe." He massaged her palm more insistently as 
if to take the sting out of his words. "I knew we loved each other, 
but I didn't want to spend my life continuously quarreling." 

"I wouldn't have liked that either, darling." 

"Nay, lass, I don't believe you would have. However, that was 
practically all we did the last few times we were together." 

Heather, keeping her eyes fastened to a button of sky that white 
woolly clouds were rapidly covering, was quiet for a moment; then 
she asked softly, "Weren't you ever tempted to come back before 
this?" 

"Why ask a question you already know the answer to?" he 
demanded a bit impatiently. "Of course, I wanted to come back, but 
by the time I did you had fallen in love with Thomas Stephens." 

"No, not really, precious . . ," 

"Oh, yes you had, and it doesn't become you to deny it. You were 
going to marry him." He propped himself on his elbow to look into 
her flushed face. 

"Yes, but" 

"And I'm not the kind of man who goes about stealing another 
man's betrothed." 

"No?" She asked it impudently. 

"No, not unless I suspect the woman in the case loves me instead 
of the other man." 

"And this you suspect?" 

282 



"Yes, I've suspected it for some little time now; but last night 
Rachael Ure convinced me my suspicions were correct. She told me 
you were no longer engaged to Thomas; that you had sent him 
away." 

"Rachael told you that?" 

He grinned down at her. "She accosted me at Mother Penrose's 
and acquainted me with all the touching details of your farewell 
meeting." His water-colored eyes twinkled with devilment and he 
reached out his hand and stroked her throat. "She said she had 
always been sensible of our affection for one another and, since you 
befriended her in those years she lived with Dr. Tailfer, she was 
desirous of doing you a good turn." 

So it hadn't been rats she'd heard scurrying in the kitchen. 
Heather thought to herself. 

"I didn't tell her," Bart went on, "that I'd already made up my 
mind to take you away from Thomas." 

"And you're not worried any more about our quarreling over 
General Oglethorpe?" 

"Didn't you tell me before I left for St. Augustine that you 
realized you had been mistaken about General Oglethorpe?" 

"Yes, I said I'd been mistaken about some things he'd done; but 
please don't ever think, Bart dear, that I admire him whole- 
heartedly as you do." 

"I won't." 

She pulled her head away from his gently caressing fingers, sat 
up and wheeled about in the soft sand to face him. "I still believe 
General Oglethorpe acted from selfish, ambitious motives when he 
brought a hundred and fourteen unsuspecting people to a land 
which he knew very well to be debatable land, liable to be reclaimed 
any hour by Spain, and to hamstring those people with so many 
regulatory laws they couldn't make a living and yet were powerless 
to leave because they weren't allowed to sell or mortgage their 
houses and lots." 

Bart scrambled to his feet and stood looking down at Heather, 
his hands on his slim hips. "Then pray, lass, why did you defend 
him so warmly to Thomas?" 

"Rachael told you that, too, eh? Well 'tis very simple. As I said 
to Thomas, now that we are at war with Spain, we Georgians can't 

283 



afford the luxury of continuing our war with the Trustees. We 
must bury the hatchet until either Spain is defeated or we are and" 
she turned her eyes away from Bart and shrugged her shoulders 
dispiritedly "I'm frightened to death it will be us." 

"Heather, don't say that!" 

"I hate saying it and I wouldn't to anyone except you, Bart, but 
my common sense tells me that those thousands of Spaniards in 
Florida, not to mention those in Havana and elsewhere, are bound 
to overrun the few British on these Georgia shores and kill us all or 
make us virtually slaves to His Catholic Majesty. Then, when that 
happens, General Oglethorpe will understand the terrible price of 
his unbridled ambition." 

Bart was quiet for a minute, biting his lower lip; then with 
forced restraint he said, "But just suppose, Heather, that General 
Oglethorpe beats back the Spaniards and saves Georgia, and not 
only Georgia but South Carolina and even the whole Atlantic coast 
for Great Britain, would you consider then he'd been too ambitious 
in planting a colony here?" 

"But, Bart, that's too much to expect." 

"Still, Heather, he might be able to accomplish it and if he did, 
you and I and your father and Bobby and Anne and Henry and 
all the rest of us would have the opportunity to live out our lives 
free of fear of invasion, of debtor-prison walls, of religious persecu- 
tion." 

" 'Tis too good to come true, Bart," she said, but her upturned 
face was radiant at the idea. "If by some miracle, though, it does 
come true, I solemnly swear never to say another ugly word about 
James Oglethorpe. He will be my hero, too." Then smiling her 
tenderest, deepest smile, she hopped up and went once more into 
Bart's arms. 

Two weeks later, in the evening, they were married in the Court- 
house by a Lutheran minister from Ebenezer, who made regular 
trips to Savannah to preach to the Dutch servants, and they went 
directly afterward to the Forsyths' house. 

Their friends, boisterous and candidly frank, escorted them to 
bed and then, just outside their window, serenaded them until mid- 
night; but they didn't disturb Heather's and Bart's love-making. 

284 



"Wife," Bart whispered, stretching his firm body along Heather's 
back and limbs and reaching out his arm to pull her closer. 

"Husband/' she whispered in answer, not turning off her side 
but lying very still, waiting, expectant. 

Slowly and deliberately, without the rush and tenseness of their 
former matings, his hands began to move over her breasts. There 
was no hurry now. They had all of the night all of all the nights. 

She twisted her head to find his mouth ... her hair matted 
about her face ... her skin grew hot and moist ... her fingers 
followed his ... her legs twined about him and then, aching with 
strain, untwined. They were one flesh. 

The next day they sailed for Frederica. Heather suffered some 
pangs at leaving Colonel Stephens, Jason, and especially Bobby, but 
they assured her they were old enough to look after themselves and 
she assured them she would be back for frequent visits. Why else, 
she asked smiling, would she have married a boatman? 



285 



XXVI 



By the early spring of 1742, James Oglethorpe knew the 
Colony's time of testing had come. The British fleet had failed 
miserably in its expedition against Havana and been recalled to 
England, leaving the Spanish forces free for the Georgia invasion. 

Then in May fifty-six ships, carrying 7,000 men, artillery and 
everything necessary for the assault, sailed from Havana for an 
unannounced destination; but the Georgia leader was positive that 
they were headed first for St. Augustine and then Frederica, for 
among the fleet were some half galleys that drew only five feet of 
water and could sail up the Altamaha. 

Very shortly his opinion was confirmed by Indian spies. They 
reported eleven vessels had put in their appearance at St. Augustine 
and more were expected daily, though one galley had been wrecked 
as it left Cuba, right off Morro Castle, and the whole fleet had been 
dispersed later by a terrific tropical storm. 

On receiving this information, the General sent for Bart. "I have 
tidings of war," he announced quietly. "The Spaniards are about 
to descend upon us." 

"I'm not surprised, sir," Bart said, but his blood pounded faster. 

"I want you to take dispatches for help speedily to Charles Town. 
You are knowledgeable of the shortest cuts and can make the 
quickest time." 

"I'm at your service, sir." 

"You'll have to wait, though, a little while till I can prepare them. 
First I must finish a letter I've begun to the Duke of Newcastle; 
then one more for England and another for Colonel Stephens. You 
will give the letter for Colonel Stephens to Noble Jones at the Isle 
of Hope and ask him to carry it directly to Savannah. He must 
alert all the Rangers and officers of the northern part of the Colony 

286 



to stop every suspicious person from passing over the Savannah 
River." 

"I understand, sir." 

"I have reason to believe the Spaniards will try to bring about 
another revolt of the South Carolina slaves to coincide with their 
invasion of Georgia and, in all probability, they will be sending 
messengers or spies overland to give notice to their correspondents 
amongst the Negroes." 

He turned to Francis Moore, who had been waiting, quill in 
hand, beside the General's desk, and promptly proceeded with the 
letter to the Duke of Newcastle: 

"The Indians bring me word that the Spaniards have received 
powerful succor; that all their houses are filled with new officers 
and that their common talk is full of brags that they intend to 
attack us and overrun all North America. They are some of the 
troops raised for the defense of Cuba." 

He hesitated for a moment, stroking his nose with his middle 
fingers, evidently trying to decide whether or not to say what he 
had in mind; then continued: "I hope your Grace will remember 
that I long ago acquainted you that I anticipated an invasion as 
soon as the affair with Cuba was ended and prayed for succors, but 
they are not yet arrived." 

Again he stopped, murmured a few words Bart missed; then once 
more spoke out distinctly: "It is too late now to ask your Grace to 
represent this to His Majesty and ask succors. Before they arrive, 
the matter will be over. I hope I shall behave as well as one with as 
few and as little artillery can. I have great advantage from my 
knowledge of the country and the soldiers are in good heart and 
used to fatigue and arms. We have often seen and drove the Span- 
ish and I believe that one of us is as good as ten of them." 

Bart slipped out to tell Heather he would be away for a few days. 
He found her gathering eggs in the back yard of the house they 
had leased on Broad Street, a few doors from Davison's Tavern. 
He broke the news to her matter-of-factly, hugged and kissed her 
and hurried back. 

The Georgia leader was still dictating. He must be on the second 
letter, Bart decided; not even General Oglethorpe could be writing 
all this time to one person. 

287 



"They won't pass by us into Carolina," he was saying, "so must 
take us on their way and I believe they will meet with a morsel not 
easy to be digested. Yet we are not in the situation we would wish, 
being very weak in cannon and shot; never having had any from 
England, nor, indeed, anything else since rny last arrival in this 
country, but one store-ship of powder and small arms from His 
Grace, the Duke of Argyle, just before he was out of the Ord- 



nance. 



Next he prepared the dispatches for Charles Town. There were 
two one to Lieutenant Governor Bull and one to Captain Hardy, 
who was then in command of His Majesty's ships at that station. 
In the letter to Lieutenant Governor Bull he minced no words. He 
told him he was expecting the Spaniards to attack and he intended 
to give them a warm reception and make them sick of it; but if 
they got the better of him, they would undoubtedly follow their 
advantage and visit Carolina. So he advised him to review the 
militia immediately, get it ready for service and to send what was 
necessary for the defense of Port Royal. 

"If you neglect the fort there," he concluded bluntly, "and the 
Spaniards take it, you may depend on it you are answerable for it." 

Bart's journey was without incident, but while he was gone there 
was great excitement at St. Simons. One morning James Oglethorpe 
got word that eight or nine vessels were attacking Fort St. Andrews 
on Cumberland Island. Immediately he flung himself on his black 
stallion and raced to the Point. Here he ordered William Horton, 
who had only recently returned from England on Captain Thom- 
son's Success with a captaincy and a company of Grenadiers, to 
accompany him and he set sail in three small boats for the besieged 
outpost. 

Though the General's boats were outnumbered by the Spaniards, 
he managed to fight his way through them; strengthen the fort 
with the Grenadiers and return safely to St. Simons. 

Overjoyed, Major Heron ordered every cannon in the harbor 
fired and every ship's horn blown and every bell rung. 

Bart arrived back just in time to take part in the celebration. 

But there was no celebrating for James Oglethorpe. He plunged 
immediately into further preparations for the defense of St. Simons. 
He detailed officers to recruit another troop of Rangers. He excused 

288 



all indentured servants from their terms o servitude so they could 
join the army as freemen, thus completing the Regiment as far as 
he had guns, to its full strength. He dispatched an express to Cap- 
tain Mark Carr, who had some months before raised a company of 
Marines in Maryland, to abandon his station on the Turtle River 
and proceed to St. Simons; he sent fervent pleas to Mary Musgrove 
to use her influence to rush to him all the Indians possible; he 
posted boats to guard the inland passage between the islands and 
the main; he ordered Rangers to the main to watch the movements 
of the Spaniards; he sent Francis Moore to Charles Town with 
renewed supplications to Lieutenant Governor Bull for help and he 
sent other men northward to buy guns and ammunition of all 
kinds. 

With his own Regiment of approximately 650 men as a nucleus, 
he hoped to build within a few days an army of at least 900 soldiers. 
It would be extremely difficult to weld practically overnight these 
900 into a strong fighting unit; but he intended to try. Approxi- 
mately one third of them would be strangers to St. Simons and to 
each other; still, if he could infuse them the servants, the Marines, 
the freeholders, the Highlanders, the Rangers, the Indians and even 
the crews of the boats with the justness of the English cause, then 
he would have a real defensive and offensive force. 

As no men-of-war or sloops had yet arrived from Charles Town, 
he laid an embargo on the few vessels in the harbor and attempted 
to get them in battle trim. To the regular crew of ten of the Suc- 
cess, which was the largest of the ships, he added 100 men some 
from his Regiment and some from Captain Carr's Marines and 
mounted her with twenty guns. 

On the twenty-eighth of June the Spaniards arrived. Just at 
sunset, in a dead calm, a convoy of thirty-three vessels cast anchor 
off St. Simons in what Bart reckoned was fourteen fathoms of 
water. There were nine large topmast vessels; one half galley; five 
quarter galleys; and the remainder snows, brigantines, sloops and 
schooners. 

His jaws set hard, General Oglethorpe studied them from the 
crow's-nest of the Success. Every ship was loaded to the gunwales 
with troops. There had to be at least 5,000 men, and probably there 
were many more. 

289 



Deliberately he climbed down the mast, stepped into the cutter 
and returned to his temporary headquarters in Fort St. Simons. He 
mixed ink powder and water, picked up his quill, pulled a sheet of 
foolscap toward him and meticulously listed all the military 
strength of Georgia and South Carolina: 

6 companies of Regiment of Foot 

i Troop of English Rangers 

i Troop of Highland Rangers 

i Company of Boatmen called the Marine Company 

i Independent Company of Highlanders. 

Next he wrote down all the boats at his disposal. In addition to 
the Success, he listed: 

The Georgia Guard Schooner, the Walter, 16 guns, 38 men 
The Georgia Guard Sloop, the St. Philip, 10 guns, 28 men 
The Faulcon Sloop, 6 carriage guns, 10 swivel guns, 6 men 
9 small boats and 2 piraguas for transferring provisions 

He eyed the list for a long time as if by looking at it he might 
increase it; then, sighing deeply, put down all his other assets: 

40 Horses for Baggage 

Some gunmen at the forts 

The militia in Carolina and Georgia 

The friendly Indians 

The Men-of-War stationed at Charles Town 

Then he shook his head slowly and drew his pen through the last 
three items. The militia, the Indians, the men-of-war were too far 
away to be of any help in the present crisis. Then he went for a 
long solitary walk upon the beach. 

Bart, coming into the headquarters a few minutes later to see if 
General Oglethorpe needed him any more that evening, saw the list 
upon the desk and almost unconsciously ran his eyes over it. General 
Oglethorpe wrote a strong, forward hand with a considerable 
flourish to some of the letters, especially the rf's; but in spite of the 

290 



boldness of the writing, the list struck fear into Bart's heart. How 
pitiful it was! How puny! Yet, with this paucity of men and boats, 
General Oglethorpe must repel these Spanish bastards. Otherwise, 
there would be no Georgia. The great gamble to which he had 
devoted more than ten years of his life at its prime would be a 
total loss; indeed, much worse than a total loss. As Heather had 
said, the people who had trusted him would either die at the hands 
of the Spaniards or spend the rest of their lives as slaves to His 
Catholic Majesty. Bart rubbed one finger across his closed lid. "Oh, 
Heather," he muttered. "Heather, my lass." 

The next day a boat of the Spanish Admiral's flagship was low- 
ered into the sea and for several hours an officer and his men made 
soundings to discover if the convoy could get closer into shore. To 
show the enemy he was not afraid of them, James Oglethorpe 
ordered five of his small boats to venture out of the Sound into the 
Atlantic and marched his troops along the beach, but never beyond 
the range of the fort's guns. He also had the gunmen fire their 
cannon all day to test their batteries. 

At four-thirty in the afternoon, the Spanish flagship ran up its 
ensign upon the bow and the pennant of Spain on the mainmast 
and shortly the whole fleet hoisted anchors and got under way. 
Here they come, Bart thought to himself, his heart pounding. How- 
ever, after an hour's maneuvering, the sails fell slack and the 
anchors rattled down. The hour of invasion wasn't yet. The enemy 
was simply improving their position. They were now two leagues 
out and in ten fathoms of water. 

The next day the wind blew west-southwest and west, blowing 
at intervals into squalls, and the seas ran mountainous high. The 
Spaniards couldn't possibly come in under those conditions. Yet, in 
spite of the weather, the fleet was increased that day by a galley, 
a bilunder and a barge, which had no doubt been separated from 
the convoy by a storm on the way from St. Augustine. Now there 
were thirty-six sails instead of thirty-three. 

The next day dawned fair. New signals ran up the Spanish masts 
and boats, loaded with troops, zigzagged down into the water and 
jockeyed into position astern the flagship. 

"My God, they intend to disembark right here on the coast," cried 
James Oglethorpe excitedly. "They are not even going to attempt to 

291 



sail into the Sound and up the Altamaha. They will unload on this 
beach and march across the island to Frederica." 

He barked out orders and men dashed to their stations to carry 
them out. 

Then suddenly the sky blackened, the wind rose and a storm 
more violent than any of the day before lashed the small boats. The 
Spanish soldiers froze in their places, the sails sank about the masts 
and the crews fell upon their oars and pulled for their mother 
ships. Bart thought surely some of them would sink, but every 
single one of them managed to get safely back. 

There was no further activity among the enemy that day. The 
wind, still blowing strongly west-southwest and west, and the sea 
still running very heavy, kept the convoy battened down. 

And so it was the next day. And the next. 

But the next day it was July 4th the wind fell somewhat and 
veered slightly to the east. The waiting was drawing to an end. 

That afternoon, the enemy hoisted once more the ensign on the 
bow and the Spanish pennant on the mainmast of the flagship and 
the whole fleet, forming one front, came in until they were just 
outside the bar. 

So the commander had changed his mind and would attempt 
after all to enter the Sound and sail up the Altamaha. He was just 
biding his time until the wind changed sufficiently to give him a 
leading gale. One more night and he would have it, Bart figured. 

James Oglethorpe was of the same opinion. He ordered more 
Rangers out to guard the shore line, even beyond the last creek, to 
build fires and to shoot off their arms. Then he boarded the Success 
to give the men a last-minute message of encouragement. 

"For my part, men," he said, "I am resolved to stand it out and 
I will not yield one inch to them, though they appear so formidable. 
They are, I am satisfied, much superior in numbers but, men, I am 
also satisfied that you are superior in valor and I do not doubt that 
with the favor of God we will get the better of them." 

At seven o'clock the next morning, a Spanish galley and two 
galiots sailed over the bar to sound it. 

"Fire!" James Oglethorpe ordered the fort's batteries; but the 
balls fell short of the boats and the sailors continued sounding. 
292 



At three o'clock they retired. There was no need for further 
measurements. The tide was unusually high and the wind astern. 

With the flagship leading the way, the entire fleet ran easily over 
the bar. 

The Success was as ready as she, a made-over merchant ship, 
could ever be. On her larboard side was the Walter; on her lar- 
board quarter the St. Philip, and echeloned out from them eight 
small boats, with a man aboard each, with orders to sink or run 
them ashore in case they were overpowered. On land were the guns 
of Fort St. Simons. 

The Spanish quarter galleys, mounted with nine-pound guns, 
and a half galley with two eighteen-pounders in her bow came in 
close to make the attack. Shortly, in spite of the pounding from the 
fort, they were near enough to the Success to fire directly upon her. 
Billows of smoke and ribbons of fire ran along her gunwales. 

Nevertheless, when the Spanish sails attempted to come up under 
her stern to grapple and board her, she ran two six-pounders out 
her stern ports and fired them so rapidly the enemy had to lie 
upon their oars and run with the tide. 

Then the flagship took up the attack. She, too, met with a broad- 
side from the Success, followed up quickly by broadsides from the 
Walter and the St. Philip. Then she also sheered off. 

Then another Spanish galley rode in. Then another. One by one 
they came until the sea between them and the English ships was 
completely fogged in with smoke. Bart could no longer even see 
the flashes from the guns' mouths. He could only hear the wheeze 
of their shells and the blasts of the eighteen-pounders and coehorns 
of the fort. 

In the cutter, Bart at the helm, James Oglethorpe shuttled again 
and again behind the thin line of little sloops to the Success and 
back to the fort. He was doing the work of three officers : his own, 
of course, as colonel of the Regiment, his engineer's and his sub- 
engineer's. The engineer was on his way to England and the sub- 
engineer was in Charles Town. When he was on the Success, he 
left his Regiment in charge of Major Heron, whom he temporarily 
appointed lieutenant colonel. 

For two and a half hours the battle raged. Then the Spaniards 

293 



changed their tactics. They simply sailed around the tiny British 
fleet and proceeded calmly across the Sound toward the mouth o 
the Altamaha. 

Horrified, Bart watched them go. In God's name what was to 
stop them now? There were no more ships and no more forts be- 
tween them and Frederica. How could General Oglethorpe possibly 
continue to carry on in the face of what must be inevitable disaster ? 

Abruptly, orders put an end to Bart's pessimistic ponderings. He 
was to try to get the cutter out of the Sound and take her to Fred- 
erica. The St. Philip likewise was to try to escape to Frederica; but 
the Success and the Walter were to make a dash for Charles Town. 
And there they were to broadcast the news that the Spaniards were 
no longer a threat to St. Simons but an occupying force and, in His 
Majesty's name, demand assistance. 

Bart knew that the safest way to Frederica was around the Point 
of St. Simons, then up the coast until he reached the water passage 
along the north shore of the island; then along this passage to the 
Altamaha. He wouldn't be likely to encounter any Spanish galleys 
that way and, no doubt, it was the route General Oglethorpe in- 
tended for him to take. However, he wanted to follow on the heels 
of the enemy convoy. If it was sailing for Frederica, as seemed 
probable, he, by clinging close to the riverbank, might be able to 
slip by it and warn the fort and the inhabitants of the town. 

He explained his plan to the crew; then turned the bow of the 
cutter in the wake of the enemy. His eyes narrowed and his body 
tense, he steered within a few feet of the shore. The high tide fortu- 
nately was still coming in and enabled him to keep on the very 
fringe of the marshes and even to slip now and then into shallow 
inlets until the last ship of the convoy rounded a bend ahead. 

Nearing Gascoigne's Bluff, the Spanish flagship ran up on the 
mizzen topmost head a bright red pennant. "Rest your oars," Bart 
said quietly to his rowers. "I'm not positive, but I believe that's the 
Spanish signal to disembark." 

Suddenly the guns of the galley, the galiots and the packet boat 
swept the high wooded land upon the bluff with terrific fire. The 
commander was taking no chances on setting his men ashore where 
Britishers might be lying in wait. The cannons flashed repeatedly 

294 



and the balls whirred through the dusk and fell with heavy, dull 
thuds. Though Bart and his crew were drifting shoreward a goodly 
distance below the line of fire, they crouched without speaking in 
the cutter's bottom. 

Finally, while the guns continued to boom, eighteen small boats, 
containing six men each, and three barges, with too many men for 
Bart to count, pushed off from the flagship for the shore. Back and 
forth the small boats and the barges ferried from the flagship and, 
later, from other large vessels. Back and forth; back and forth. By 
ten o'clock, Bart reckoned 500 foot soldiers had landed. Then the 
companies of Grenadiers began to come off. Even in the torchlit 
darkness, he recognized their tall miter-shaped caps and the gre- 
nades, no bigger than cricket balls, which they carried. 

Then there was a considerable stir upon the deck of one of the 
ships. Pipes piped, hands saluted smartly and, without a doubt, the 
commanding general himself came off; then, the second in com- 
mand. 

By now there were at least 1,000 men ashore and they were still 
disembarking and, judging from the numbers of those milling 
aboard, they would still be coming off when the new day dawned. 

Bart felt sick. How in wonder could General Oglethorpe stop 
this horde from overrunning Frederica and all Georgia? 

He rolled over on his back and stared despondently at the stars, 
They hung seemingly low enough to touch and were very bright. 
It must be nearing midnight. He raised himself up and looked to 
the east where Fort St. Simons stood. Great spurts of flame began 
to dye the wide sky a deep rose. The fort and the English ships that 
had been run ashore must be burning. 

Loud explosions sounded; faded out; then sounded again. Gen- 
eral Oglethorpe must be blowing up the powder magazine and 
cannons. Doubtlessly he was abandoning Fort St. Simons and with- 
drawing the troops to Frederica. He really could do nothing else. If 
he remained on the southeast point of St. Simons, the Spaniards 
could cut him off completely from Frederica at the northwest end. 
With such a very small army, he couldn't afford to have it divided. 

Hearing no further rumblings, Bart judged General Oglethorpe 
was on his way to Frederica and decided that he should be on his 

295 



way, too. He already had plenty of information to impart and the 
sooner the Georgia leader knew the size of the enemy, the better he 
could prepare his moves. 

As the river was dark now and the Spaniards were occupied with 
the disembarkation, he guided the cutter to the far shore and pro- 
ceeded northward in the shadow of the trees and the long grasses. 

They reached Frederica a little before day. The live oaks, dangling 
their scarves of moss along the bluff, were still solid blocks of black- 
ness, but a fine gray flour was sifting through the open spaces of 
the Parade and the streets of the town and camp. Everybody was 
up. Lanterns and candles were burning in the houses, smoke was 
trailing from chimneys, and women and children were huddled in 
doorways. 

A few minutes after Bart jumped ashore, the General marched 
through the Town Gate, followed by the companies of the Regi- 
ment that he had had at Fort St. Simons, the Rangers, the Marines 
and the crews o the staved-in and burned boats. He was on foot, 
for he had given his stallion to a wounded Ranger. Behind him 
came an ensign, carrying on his arm the folded Union Jack of the 
abandoned fort. 

Bart hurried straight to headquarters. The General was talking 
to Captain Carr of the Marines. "We must get the women and 
children out of Frederica at once," he said. "The Spaniards may 
arrive any time now and when they do, this will be no place for 
women and children." 

He glanced up and saw Bart standing in the doorway and his 
face brightened slightly. "Captain, I see you got here. I presume the 
cutter is none the worse for her experiences?" 

"None, sir." 

"Thank you, Captain, for this day's work." 

Bart felt his face grow hot. "It was only my duty, sir." 

"I'm sensible of that, but nevertheless Fm grateful. And now you 
may be excused until I send for you." 

"But, General, I have news to impart. I followed the convoy to 
Gascoigne Bluff where it anchored." 

"By jove, did you? Well, please acquaint me with everything you 
observed." 

Excitedly Bart poured out his story and intently James Ogle- 

296 



thorpe listened, not once hinting that he himself, some Rangers and 
Indian spies had watched the early hours of the landing. 

"Bart, you've been most helpful," he praised him when he had 
finished. "We can't have too many eyes in a dangerous situation 
like this. And now have a good rest. But one moment " He flung 
out his hand. "Before you rest tell Heather to prepare to leave 
Frederica sometime today. Captain Carr and his Marines are ready- 
ing the boats to evacuate the women and children." 

"I'll see that she's ready, sir," Bart answered. 

However, when he gave Heather the message, she vowed flatly 
that she was not leaving unless specifically ordered to do so. "I'm 
not evacuating my house for Spaniards to walk into. What kind of 
a person does General Oglethorpe think I am? If Spaniards take 
my house, they will have to take it over my dead body." 

" Tis my house, too, remember?" said Bart, a slight glint of 
amusement in his tired eyes. 

"Of course it is, my darling." And Heather rushed to put her 
arms around his neck and kiss him lingeringly. "But what I mean 
is, I'm not deserting my post any more than you're deserting yours 
or Bobby is deserting his." Quickly she folded her hands across her 
breast. The thought of Bobby in danger sent pains running through 
her. 

As young as he was thirteen on his last birthday he was al- 
ready at Fort Argyle on the Ogeechee River, serving as a drummer 
with John Milledge. General Oglethorpe had recently made John 
quartermaster at that fort and John had gone about Savannah, sign- 
ing up recruits to strengthen his position. 

Now, with the coming of the Spaniards, Bobby was in a perilous 
spot. If they took St. Simon, they would assuredly sail on up the 
coast to Savannah, stopping on the way to raze lonely Fort Argyle 
and kill the pitiful handful of young inmates. Babies, they were, 
Heather bawled inwardly. Just innocent little babies. 

"All right, lass," Bart said gently, observing the stricken look on 
her face at the mention of Bobby. "I'm sure General Oglethorpe has 
too much to do to argue with women who don't want to leave. You 
stay right here and guard our house with your life." He tried to 
make his voice casual, but there was nothing casual about the way 
he put his arm about her shoulders and hugged her tightly to him. 

297 



XXVII 



BART slept through the rest of the day and much of the 
night. The Spaniards could have blown Frederica to bits and he 
would not have known it. He was dead to the heat, the mosquitoes, 
the beat of the drums, the keening of the bagpipes, the marching of 
the troops and the continuous digging, spading and hammering on 
the defenses. He was even dead to Heather's troubled gaze when 
she tiptoed into the room to see if he was still sleeping. 

Finally, though, he waked and, as soon as it was daylight, re- 
ported for duty. James Oglethorpe was interviewing five Spanish 
prisoners whom the Creek Indians had captured in the woods. 
They said the enemy forces totaled 5,000 men and that 4,300 were 
already landed and camping in the ruins of Fort St. Simons. They 
comprised one regiment of dismounted dragoons, a Havana battal- 
ion, one battalion of mulattoes, ninety Florida Indians, 600 marines 
and 1,000 seamen. The troops from St. Augustine were under the 
command of the governor, Don Manuel de Montiano, and those 
from Cuba under Don Antonio de Rodondo. 

At this intelligence Bart's blood again ran cold. The situation 
seemed absolutely hopeless. Just the thought of being on the same 
small island with that hostile hoard was terrifying. 

His mouth set in a straight line, he turned and went outside. It 
was a hot, humid c}ay of misty fine rain. Charles Mackay was 
putting his Highlanders through the drill for loading muskets. 
"Handle!" he ordered in his rich brogue. "Cartridge! Prime! Load! 
Draw ramrods! Ram down cartridges! Return ramrods! Make 
ready! Present! Give fire!" 

It took real discipline to carry out this drill. There was always the 
temptation to hurry it. 



Finally satisfied with his men's proficiency, Charles Mackay 
paraded them in front of the barracks. With their short red jackets 
and waistcoats, swinging plaids and bonnets, they looked, Bart 
thought, much too gay to die. Yet what was to prevent them from 
dying? Surely those muskets, claymores and dirks couldn't save 
them against 5,000 armed-to-the-teeth Spaniards. 

Suddenly the wailing of the bagpipes and the rolling of the drums 
were shattered by wild shouts. "The Spaniards are coming!" a 
Ranger bawled. "The Spaniards are coming! They be right upon 
us!" 

James Oglethorpe shot out from his headquarters. "Stay that 
racket!" he snapped at the Ranger. "Are you desirous of a panic? 
Now tell me quietly the whereabouts of the enemy." 

"Just a mile and a half away, sir." The man was so out of breath 
from running and shouting, he could scarcely speak. "They are 
marching along the road this way, sir." 

"How many?" 

"I reckoned about two hundred, sir. They already kilt one of our 
men, William Small." 

James Oglethorpe didn't wait for further particulars. He leaped 
upon the black stallion that was already saddled at the hitching post 
in front of the barracks and yelled commands. Lieutenant Mackay 
with his Highlanders, Toonahowi with his Creeks, and Noble 
Jones with the Indians he had recently recruited were to come with 
him. Then, as speedily as possible, four platoons of the Regiment 
and a company of Rangers were to follow. 

With the orders still echoing in the air, he wheeled his horse and 
thundered off. 

Bart stood staring after him with puzzled eyes. Damme, he 
thought ruefully, without a boat I'm neither fish nor fowl. How- 
ever, after a moment, a firm hold on his musket, he set out. Trot- 
ting steadily, he overtook the tail end of the Highlander company. 
They were strung out in a long, uneven line, some running much 
more swiftly than others. A half-dozen were even up with the fleet- 
footed Indians at the heels of the General. 

Around an elbow of woods, the Spanish column swung into 
view. For a few minutes Bart saw them clearly their exceedingly 

299 



tall, pointed, black hats; wine-red coats; light blue waistcoats; gray- 
blue breeches and then they darted from the road. 

Instantly, without waiting for the others to catch up, James 
Oglethorpe and his small group, screaming like hyenas, swung off 
the road after them. Sharp reports of musket fire blasted the air and 
grayish-brown puffs of smoke, like exotic flowers, bloomed above 
the treetops. The battle was under way. 

Bart hurried his pace until he came close to the scene. Then he, 
too, sprinted off the road and made for the trunk of a pine. He 
dropped to his knees behind it. Though his musket was loaded, 
he had to prime it. Unscrewing the cap from his powder horn, he 
heard James Oglethorpe shouting orders, guns popping, Indians 
and Highlanders whooping. 

The musket primed, Bart peered from behind the tree to locate 
the enemy. A Spanish captain, by the look of the gold braid on his 
coat, was aiming at Toonahowi. Bart pulled his trigger, but he 
missed fire. The captain's gun spat and Toonahowi grabbed his 
shattered arm. On came the captain, the gun now above his head to 
dash out Toonahowi's brains. Bart raised his gun and started for 
the captain, but just as he was in striking distance, Toonahowi 
drew his pistol with his left hand and shot the captain squarely 
between the eyes. The Spaniard pitched forward, spurting blood 
over Bart. 

Bart rushed on. The battle was moving away from him. The 
enemy was retreating fast. He could glimpse between the trees, 
vines and myrtle bushes, only the backs of fast-running Indians 
and Highlanders. He couldn't even see General Oglethorpe. He 
continued to push his legs forward, stumbled over dead Spaniards 
sprawled in the thickets, picked himself up and pushed on. The 
sweat was pouring down his face and ribs and a pain stabbed him 
in the side. He stopped for a second to catch his breath and realized 
that the firing had died down. All the enemy must be dead or cap- 
tured. He headed for the little winding road. The Georgia leader 
was already there, surrounded by his men and some prisoners. 

"We must have killed at least a hundred Spaniards," he was 
gloating, "and we've taken sixteen prisoners." 

"You, sir, took two of the prisoners," Noble Jones said ingratiat- 
ingly. 
300 



"Yes, I did/' James Oglethorpe admitted with no change of ex- 
pression, but his hazel eyes burned brightly. 

Then, without further ado, he began to plan for the next assault. 
He placed Lieutenant Mackay's Highlanders and the Rangers on 
the left side of the road and the four platoons of the Regiment, 
when they arrived, on the right. And he ordered the Indians to 
roam the countryside and harass the Spaniards in any fashion they 
saw fit. 

"Now I will hurry back to Frederica," he announced, vaulting 
into the saddle. "Don Manuel de Montiano might attempt to sur- 
prise us by water. But if all is well, I will return immediately." 

Bart was in a quandary. If he, on foot, followed General Ogle- 
thorpe back to Frederica, he would more than likely reach there just 
as the Georgia leader was returning to this spot where he had chosen 
to make a stand. Still, the General might find trouble in Frederica 
and need him. 

He set out running, but had gone only a little way when he was 
startled by rumbling sounds behind him. Stopping dead in his 
tracks, he cocked his head to one side to listen. Was it summer 
thunder? No, he decided after a moment. It was the rapid firing 
of many muskets. Without doubt, the enemy had returned and 
resumed the fighting. 

He wheeled and started back toward the firing and almost im- 
mediately he saw running toward him through the fog and rain 
several dozen British soldiers. 

"Look lively!" the lead man yelled at him. 

"What's happened?" Bart reached out and grabbed the man by 
the sleeve. 

"The Spaniards are upon us! Hundreds of 'em. Maybe, thou- 
sands." Then he wrenched away and raced on. 

More Britishers loomed out of the mist, shouted and beckoned 
at Bart to follow them; then dashed ahead. 

Bart stood stolidly where he had first stopped. He wouldn't flee 
panic-stricken like the others. He and the soldiers who had not yet 
passed him were all that lay between the oncoming Spaniards and 
Frederica. If he and the others dashed pell-mell into Frederica, the 
enemy would certainly follow on their heels. Then there wouldn't 
be a prayer of saving the place. In the terrible confusion James 

301 



Oglethorpe's Regiment would be cut to pieces. And with the Regi- 
ment gone, Georgia was gone. 

Abruptly he saw Heather's face in his mind's eye. God, how she 
would despise General Oglethorpe if Georgia fell to the Spaniards! 
She would never, never forgive him for gambling too cold-blood- 
edly with the lives of helpless people. 

Bart doubled his free hand into a tight fist. There had to be some 
way to halt this rout. He looked about him. On one side of the road 
was a veritable jungle of bushes, cypress trees, palmetto clumps 
and the creeping tendrils of wild grape and smilax vines. On the 
other side, a low stretch of sticky, oozing mud with sharp yellow- 
green grasses springing from it. 

His eyes glinted. As a boatman, he had had much experience with 
tidal marshland like that. It was a quagmire. Let an unsuspecting 
man put foot on it and it sucked him down to his calves. 

He heard the quick thud of marching feet and saw the company 
of Highlanders, Charles Mackay at their head, coming around a 
distant curve in the road. Though in formation, they were ap- 
proaching on the double in full retreat. 

As they rushed toward him, Bart kept his eyes on the farther- 
most point of the curve for a sight of the enemy. He expected to 
see them momentarily. However, Lieutenant Mackay came abreast 
of him without their appearing. 

Quickly Bart fell in step beside the Highland officer and said, 
"Lieutenant, are you aware that you have so outdistanced the 
Spaniards none are in sight?" 

"Certainly," he answered curtly. "If they were in sight they would 
be firing on us." 

Nevertheless, he cast a hurried glance over his shoulder and, in- 
stead of Spaniards, he saw Lieutenant Patrick Sutherland, with his 
platoon of the Regiment, swinging into view. 

"Yes, Captain," he said, his eyes again to the front and his legs 
propelling him steadily on, "we appear to have left the enemy well 
behind. 1 ' 

Bart ran to keep up with him. "Lieutenant, don't you think this 
is a very advantageous spot for a surprise attack?" 

Charles Mackay slowed his pace. "How do you mean, Captain?" 

"Lookee, Lieutenant, your men could easily hide themselves in 
302 



this morass to the left of us here and when the Spaniards appear^ 
rush out and fall upon them." Bart's deep voice was anxious, 
urgent. "Their only escape would be this narrow road and the 
marsh and, as I can testify, Lieutenant, the marsh is no escape. It 
will hold 'em fast." 

Charles Mackay scanned both sides of the road, his eyes narrowed 
beneath their red brows. "By God, Captain, you're right!" 

"Halt!" he shouted down the brief column. "Halt!" 

The company rested where the word reached them; but around 
them, slipping off and scrambling up the sides of the road, panted 
other Highlanders, Rangers and soldiers of the Regiment. They 
did not miss a step to inquire why Lieutenant Mackay's men had 
halted, but dashed madly ahead. 

Breasting this onrushing tide, Bart and the lieutenant strode to 
the rear of the Highland company; then continued on to meet 
Patrick Sutherland. 

"Lieutenant," Charles Mackay began without preliminaries, "as 
I'm sure you're knowledgeable of, we have retreated with such ex- 
pedition we are now completely out of sight of the enemy. Conse- 
quently, I suggest that your men and mine withdraw into these 
woods here on our left to await their approach." 

Bart could keep quiet no longer. In a rush, he explained about 
the roadway and the dangerous oozing mud. 

Patrick Sutherland's keen brown eyes calculatingly surveyed the 
woods and the marsh; then, nodding his head, he said, "Yes, it 
does appear to me to be worth trying." 

"Good." Charles Mackay spoke with authority. "The attack 
should be a complete surprise. Not a man should move or fire a 
musket till the enemy is directly in front of us. Then, when I raise 
my bonnet on the muzzle of my musket, every man will fire to- 
gether." 

In jostling, hasty confusion, for nobody knew just how far away 
the Spaniards were, the Highlanders, the platoon, some Rangers, 
some Indians and Bart plunged into the woods and crouched be- 
hind fallen tree trunks, cypress knees, palmetto clumps anything 
to hide them. 

They readied their muskets and waited motionless. They were 
afraid to wipe the rain from their faces, afraid to slap the mosqui- 

303 



toes that settled on them, afraid to stretch a leg to relieve a cramp, 
afraid even to breathe naturally. The least noise might alert the 
approaching Spaniards and give them the advantage. 

Straining every muscle, they listened for the clank of armor, the 
sound of marching feet. They must be coming . . . they must be 
very near. 

Bart tensed. They were coming. God, yes, they were coming! 
Their swords beating against their legs, their voices chanting, they 
came. They had nothing to worry about. The footprints of the 
English who had fled on to Frederica showed plainly in the wet, 
soft sand far ahead. 

Bart cut his eyes toward the spot where Charles Mackay kneeled. 
His musket was primed; his bayonet fixed. 

The Spanish captain sharply shouted a command. Involuntarily 
Bart jumped. Christ Crucified, had the Spaniards spied them? If 
they had, then they, the poor damned English, were trapped in- 
stead of the enemy. 

Other officers echoed the commander's order. Boldly, the strange, 
frightening words ran along the line of garnet-and-gray-clad troops. 

They halted. They broke ranks. They stacked their arms. Yes, by 
God, stacked their arms! Bart's eyes almost popped from his head. 
What in wonder were they about? 

Without breathing he waited for the next move. Yet when he 
saw it, he didn't comprehend it. It was so unexpected. So fantastic. 
At last, however, there was no mistaking it. The Spaniards were 
setting up their soup kettles. They were getting ready to have din- 
ner! 

It was then that Charles Mackay ran up his bonnet. As one man, 
the Scotchmen, the Englishmen and the Indians fired. Then whoop- 
ing and brandishing muskets, claymores, swords, dirks and hatchets, 
they scrambled under the screen of smoke out of the woods and 
jumped the unarmed Spaniards. 

The slaughter was terrific. The Spaniards fled into the marsh and 
the sucking mud pulled them down. Struggling to extricate them- 
selves, they were stabbed, scalped and decapitated by the light- 
shod, fleet-footed Highlanders and Indians. 

Though Bart was neither Highlander nor Indian, he killed as 
savagely as they. Placing his feet carefully on matted grass, he 

304 



thrust his bayonet into the bowels of a Spaniard, gave a quick 
twist, wrenched it out, watched the intestines protrude; then 
jumped to another. 

One Spaniard threw his arms above his head and poured out 
unmistakable wails for mercy, but Bart didn't hesitate. He shoved 
the steel down the man's throat; then, with his mud-caked boot 
against the man's chest, jerked it free. 

His bayonet dripping blood, he spied the Spanish commander, 
wounded, writhing in the ooze. He lowered his musket. A live 
officer might furnish General Oglethorpe with important informa- 
tion. He put one arm beneath the commander's shoulders, hoisted 
the dead weight against him and slowly, stumblingly made toward 
the high ground of the road. 

All about him lay bodies, spewing blood that mixed with the 
bluish, bubbly slime and stained it purple. Not one Spaniard was 
left on his feet in the marsh; but some were still trying to escape 
through the forest. He could hear the crashing of brush and the 
curdling howls of the pursuing Indians. 

As he reached the road, James Oglethorpe pounded up on the 
stallion, necklaced with foam. "What has happened here, Lieu- 
tenant?" he shouted to Charles Mackay. 

"A magnificent victory, General!" Lieutenant Mackay was so 
exultant he forgot to salute. "We surrounded the enemy and van- 
quished them." 

"Vanquished them all?" 

"Well, almost all who were marching to Frederica." 

"I'm overjoyed to hear it, Lieutenant." His eyes afire, he gazed 
out over the sea of tall green spears, mashed down here and there 
with the mutilated bodies. "My God, what a bloody marsh!" 

"Yes, sir, 'tis a bloody marsh." 

That, Bart thought, laying his burden down on the ground, 
would no doubt be the name by which this battle would be known 
to future generations the Battle of Bloody Marsh. He supposed 
that was the unpremeditated way that most places and happenings 
got their names. 

"Please acquaint me, Lieutenant, with all the details," James 
Oglethorpe ordered. 

For a moment Charles Mackay looked uncomfortable; then, 

305 



hesitatingly, he began: "Well, sir, shortly after you left us for 
Frederica, about three hundred Spaniards came marching down the 
road. We tried to stop them, but before we knew it, sir, they were 
all amongst us. The smoke was so thick and the rain so fine, we 
became confused and . . . er . . . er . . . started retreating to Fred- 
erica." 

"You, Lieutenant, retreating?" The General's voice was high 
with shock. 

Charles Mackay's face grew even more red than usual. "Yes, sir, 
I must confess I did, but then Lieutenant Sutherland and I, when 
we reached this place, decided to make a new stand. We figured, 
sir, we could secrete our men in these woods here and give the 
enemy a real surprise." 

Charles Mackay didn't mention the part that Bart had played in 
the ambush, but neither did Charles take the credit to himself or 
give it to Patrick Sutherland. 

Well, thought Bart, waiting close by to turn his distinguished 
prisoner over to James Oglethorpe, the credit wasn't important; 
the fact that Frederica and the Regiment were still safe was what 
counted. 

"I congratulate you, Lieutenant," James Oglethorpe said when 
Charles finished. "You redeemed yourself handsomely." 

Then he accepted the wounded commander from Bart and con- 
gratulated him, too. Then he moved away to speak to Patrick 
Sutherland, the members of his Regiment, the Highlanders and 
Indians. 

To one young Highlander he addressed himself with extra 
warmth. He was William Mackintosh, the sixteen-year-old son of 
John Mackintosh, Mohr, captured at the massacre at Moosa. 

"I trust, William, my lad, you received some satisfaction from 
this day's action." 

"I did that, sir." 

"I don't presume you've had any further advices about your 
father?" 

"No, sir. The last intelligence we had was that he was still in St. 
Sebastian prison in Spain." 

"Yes, that's the last I heard, too; but don't renounce hope, lad. 
You may see him back, yet." 

306 



He talked to the men until the fleeing troops, whom he had met 
on his way back from Frederica and ordered to return, and Major 
Heron, with the body of the Regiment, and the Marines and 
Rangers arrived. Then, drums rolling and flags flying, he marched 
them to a narrow causeway that the Spaniards who had escaped 
must cross to reach Fort St. Simons and ordered them to lay all 
night upon their arms. 

The next morning, July 8th, he withdrew his forces from the 
causeway and returned with them to Frederica. He said he wanted 
to refresh them, but the truth was he realized that the few Span- 
iards who had escaped had succeeded in getting inside Fort St. 
Simons before he arrived and there was no reason to watch for 
them longer. 

On reaching Frederica he formed a general staff. It included 
Lieutenant Hugh Mackay and Lieutenant Maxwell as his aides-de- 
camp; Patrick Sutherland as brigade major and Sergeant John 
Stewart as second ensign. Though Charles Mackay was not in- 
cluded on the general staff, he was promoted to captain. 

As for Bart, he was ordered on another mission. Summoning 
him to an unfinished section of the defenses where he was both 
supervising the laborers and dictating a letter to a young cadet, 
who was writing on a drumhead, James Oglethorpe said, "Bart, I've 
just begun a letter to Captain Thomson, which I want you to take 
as far as Skidoway Narrows, There you can give it to the coxswain 
of that swift longboat stationed there and ask him to take it on to 
Charles Town. I'm hoping Captain Thomson reached Charles 
Town with the Success" 

Then turning back to the cadet, he continued dictating: 

"I was glad to see you got safely out. The Spanish fleet was not 
near so considerable as we first thought it; their strength being in 
land men. God hath pleased to give us a wonderful victory. Two 
men-of-war, I believe, would beat the whole fleet. I must beg you 
to get your ship fully manned and come and cruise off the bar; the 
very presence of a ship there might fright them away. I hope the 
men-of-war will come, but if they are not ready, do you come before 
them." 

Having finished, he swung back to Bart. "I'm sending a Spanish 
prisoner to Charles Town along with this letter, trusting to God 

307 



that the sight of him will stir the Carolinians to get some help to 
us immediately." 

Then turning to the cadet he asked impatiently, "Have you the 
letter readied yet, sir?" 

"I have, your Excellency." 

"Good." Quickly the General signed, sanded and sealed it. 
"Bart, be sure to remember to tell the coxswain of the longboat 
that this letter is to be delivered directly to Captain Thomson." 

"I will, sir." 

"You'll find the prisoner with his guard waiting for you at the 
wharf. Take an Indian canoe, if you can find one; I might need the 
cutter. Good-by and Godspeed." 

Bart returned to Frederica early in the morning of the fourth 
day and found the town gripped with anxiety and excitement. The 
afternoon before, the Spanish fleet had come higher up the river 
and one galley, with 100 men aboard, and two half galleys had 
rowed all the way to the town. 

"Tell me exactly what happened," Bart begged Heather. "Gen- 
eral Oglethorpe and everyone else I've seen say they're too rushed 
to go into the details now, but will acquaint me later." 

"Oh," began Heather, clasping her hands in front of her. " 'Twas 
woefully frightening. Here came these Spanish ships and we 
thought we were lost; lost; lost." 

Bart wished Heather was not quite so dramatic; he wanted her 
to get on with the story. 

"But General Oglethorpe behaved magnificently. I have to ad- 
mit it, Bart absolutely magnificently. First thing, he detached a 
party of Indians to lay in ambuscade in the woods lest the enemy 
should attack by land at the same time they attacked by water. 
Then he ordered those two scout boats and those two small boats 
that escaped from Jekyll Sound to be manned. Then he lined the 
riverbank and the sides of the works around the town with men 
and arms. Then he dashed to the fort to see to it himself that the 
guns and howitzers were pointed correctly and commanded them 
to be fired just as rapidly as they could be loaded. Oh, Bart, you 
never heard anything like it. I was in the fort all the women and 
children were who haven't gone away." 

"I wish to God I'd been there." 

308 



"The guns fired so warmly they disabled all the galleys and then 
General Oglethorpe boarded the cutter." 

"God Almighty/' Bart groaned. 

"And he rowed right to them, with the other boats following 
him. He stood in the bow, his sword in hand, and directed the 
firing. I tell you, Bart darling, he was absolutely magnificent." 

A smile twitched at the corners of Bart's mouth, but he said 
sharply, "Please go on, Heather. What happened then?" 

"Why the Spanish boats turned around and rowed as fast as they 
could back down the river to their fleet. Of course, I couldn't see 
them or General Oglethorpe either after they turned the bend, but 
General Oglethorpe told us when he got back on the ebb tide that 
he had pursued them three miles." 

"Three miles with five little boats?" Bart's voice was incredulous. 

"Yes, and do you know that the whole Spanish fleet later last 
evening fell down to the mouth of the Sound?" 

"Yes, someone did acquaint me with that. It's now in a position 
to back up the guns of Fort St. Simons." 

After a couple of hours' sleep, Bart reported for work on the 
defenses. If humanly possible the trench around Frederica must be 
completed before the Spaniards returned. 

Around noon James Oglethorpe came by on an inspection tour 
and, as he stood close by Bart, a strange Englishman staggered up. 
His face was swollen to twice its size with insect bites and his feet 
were bare and bloody. 

"By jove, sir, you're a melancholy sight," the General exclaimed. 
"From whence do you come and what tidings do you bring?" 

"Your Excellency, for four months I've been a prisoner of the 
Spanish, but two days ago I escaped and ever since I've been 
wandering in these fearful morasses." He touched gingerly one 
puffed, beet-red cheek. "I lost my hose, my shoes, my" 

"Never mind those details now." James Oglethorpe's voice was 
curt, but instantly he tried to rectify it. "I'll see that you get the 
finest hose and the softest-soled pumps in the commissary, but now 
what news of the Spaniards?" 

"Well, sir, as perhaps you're sensible of, the Spaniards sailed 
hither resolved to be rid of you. 'Twas common talk that the King's 
order to Montiano was first to get rid of the Regiment of General 

309 



Oglethorpe and then to devastate Georgia and Carolina by sacking 
and burning all the towns, posts and plantations." 

James Oglethorpe's face didn't change expression, but the 
knuckles o the hand that gripped the handle of his sword were 
white. " Tis no more than I suspected," he said. 

"Aye, sir, when we come here they were that cocky 'twas hard 
to stomach. They bragged to me every day that they would give 
the English no quarter." The man drew in his breath as if to get 
strength to continue. "Oncet one of 'em held a dagger to my throat 
to show me how they would kill every Britisher everyone, sir, 
men, women and children." 

Bart felt a tremor along his spine. This was what he was most 
afraid of the Spaniards would show no mercy to women and 
children. 

"This is all very interesting, my friend," James Oglethorpe said, 
his voice again curt, "but have you no military information?" 

The man took a filthy, shredded handkerchief from his pocket 
and dabbed at the matter in the corners of his inflamed eyes. "I 
regret, your Excellency, I have no knowledge of a specific military 
nature, but I am aware of an amazing change in the Spaniards* at- 
titude. There is a damp on their spirits; they are no longer cocky. 
Indeed, so many of their officers and men were surprised and kilt in 
those two engagements in the woods and marsh, and so many of 
their spies and foraging parties have been scalped by the Indians 
that they are now quite subdued." 

James Oglethorpe relaxed his hold on his sword and reached into 
his pocket for his snuffbox which he turned idly with his fingers. 
"Anything further, sir?" 

"Aye, sir. There be so much dissension amongst the various 
officers because of these unexpected losses, the Cuban forces refuse 
to camp with those from St. Augustine and the Italick Regiment 
of the Dragoons camp separately from both of them." 

"Are you certain of this, sir?" the General asked excitedly, his 
eyes beginning to fire. 

"I am, your Excellency." 

James Oglethorpe wasted no time acting on this intelligence. 
At four o'clock that afternoon he led 500 men, including Bart and 

310 



other boatmen, down the narrow road toward Fort St. Simons. The 
men moved as quietly as a funeral procession, no drums beating, 
no bagpipes playing, no singing, no Indian war whoops. And 
everyone was on foot. "No horses," James Oglethorpe had said. 
"Horses sometimes neigh and give away an army's movements." 

It was the hottest part of the day. No breeze stirred over the 
acres of marsh on the left or through the mesh of trees and vines 
on the right. 

"Halt!" an officer ahead of Bart finally said very quietly. "Halt!" 

"Halt!" whispered Bart to the man behind him. 

They were a mile and a half away from Fort "St. Simons and 
General Oglethorpe wanted to send out scouts to ascertain the 
exact positions of the enemy's two camps. 

Into the silence a musket fired. 

"There he goes!" someone shouted. "There he goes! Right there 
by that big tree." 

"Stop him! Stop him! Stop him!" others shouted and a dozen 
Indians tore into the jungle of woods. 

"Who fired that musket?" James Oglethorpe demanded. 

Mark Carr left his company of Marines, brushed by Bart and 
faced the General. " 'Twas a French recruit who fired, sir." 

"Why, Captain?" 

"I'm not sure, sir, but I fear he must have been a spy in the pay 
of the Spaniards and was warning them of our approach." 

"Damnation take him!" said James Oglethorpe, his face working 
with rage. 

"Perhaps, sir, the Indians will overtake him." 

The General tilted his head to listen to the smashing of the under- 
brush that quickly became fainter and fainter. "It sounds to me as if 
he's got safely into the enemy camp." 

"He did have a good start on 'em, sir," Mark Carr admitted. 
"He was close by the woods when he fired and he dived right into 
'em." 

James Oglethorpe stood very still, deep in thought, the middle 
fingers of his hand slowly massaging the side of his nose. For a 
couple of minutes he was silent; then, his jaws hard, he said, "This 
occasions a change of plans. There is no reason to attack the fort 

311 



now, for the Spaniards are sensible of our presence and will be 
waiting for us. The best move we can make under these circum- 
stances is to return with the utmost expedition to Frederica." 

Then turning to face Patrick Sutherland, he ordered him to have 
the drums beat the "Grenadiers' March" and to issue the necessary 
commands for the return to camp. 

It was nearing midnight when they filed into Frederica. 

But in spite of the hour of the night, James Oglethorpe sum- 
moned to a conference his new staff and a few other persons, Bart 
among them. 

The Georgia leader was more troubled than at any time since 
the Spaniards landed on the island. There was a dragged-down, 
gray look to his face as if a flood had washed over it and left a 
thin sediment of mud. 

"I'm not going to mince matters, gentlemen," he began as soon 
as everyone was seated. "I'm woefully worried that the Frenchman 
who escaped will tell Don Mariuel de Montiano how weak we are 
and Montiano will speedily descend upon us and destroy us." He 
waited for the words to sink home. "Once he knows our paucity of 
men, guns, powder, ships" he flung out his arms in a gesture of 
helplessness "he would be a fool not to attack and I don't think 
we can rely on his being a fool. This, without a doubt, is our most 
critical hour. Georgia's very existence and the existence of all its 
inhabitants are at stake. . . . Gentlemen, we must use our utmost 
endeavors to bring about some expedient to stop the Spaniards." 

His hazel eyes moved deliberately from face to face. The room 
was so still Bart could hear the lapping of the water around the 
piles of the wharf and about the hulks of the boats that were 
anchored a little offshore. 

Then the Georgia leader spoke again. "Gentlemen, 'tis absolutely 
imperative that we conceive a plan to discredit that spy. We must 
by some ruse make Montiano and Don Antonio de Rodondo doubt 
the facts that he tells them." Mopping the sweat and mosquitoes 
from his cheeks and neck, he lapsed again into silence. 

Bart doubled over, his hands clasped between his spread legs. He 
was deeply troubled, too. If General Oglethorpe couldn't think up 
a scheme to confuse those dons, nobody could and, for once, he did 
seem baffled. 

312 



James Oglethorpe pushed back the chair from his desk, stood up 
and began to pace the floor, his head bent. No one else moved. The 
breeze strengthened from the sea and the stiff leaves of the palms 
struck metallically against each other. 

Down the length of the room he paced. Then back again. Then 
down again. . . . 

Bart felt thirsty for a beer and then felt ashamed that he could 
think of his own wants at such a time. Besides it hadn't been long 
since he had had a beer; General Oglethorpe had ordered dozens 
of kegs opened when he and his men had returned to Frederica. 

Back and forth James Oglethorpe continued to pace, his brow 
furrowed; his lips compressed. 

Then suddenly he whirled about. His eyes were ablaze with an 
idea. "Gentlemen, how would it do to write a letter ?" 

Hell's hullabaloo, he should have known there would be a letter, 
Bart thought to himself. 

"How would it do to write a letter and give it to one of the 
Spanish prisoners to take to that French spy?" 

"I don't quite get your meaning, sir," Patrick Sutherland said 
hesitantly. 

"Well, Major, 'twould be better for you to hear me out first." 
General Oglethorpe sat back behind his desk, arranged his fingers 
tentwise, and began to speak with excitement. "My idea is to write 
a letter to this Frenchman, though I wouldn't address it to him 
that would be too obvious I would write it in French so 'twould 
appear to be from a fellow countryman of this chap's, and I would 
have the fellow countryman inform his friend that he had received 
the money as promised that is, the spy money from the English 
and so his friend must continue in his efforts to persuade the 
Spaniards that the English are very weak." 

"Very weak, sir?" blurted out Mark Carr and Charles Mackay 
simultaneously. 

"Yes, very weak. You agree, don't you, Captains, that the 
Frenchman has already told them we are very weak?" 

"Yes, sir." 

"Well, now our task is to make the Spanish commanders, when 
they read this letter, arrive at the conclusion that we paid the 
Frenchman to tell them that we are weak." 

313 



"But how, sir, will the Spanish commanders see the letter?" per- 
sisted Charles Mackay, pulling at his thick, reddish brows. "I 
thought the letter was for the French spy." 

"Ah, Captain, so it is. The Spanish prisoner will be paid to 
smuggle this letter to the Frenchman, but I'm of the opinion that 
there are two excellent chances that the letter will reach Montiano 
instead. One, the Spanish prisoner may actually try to get the letter 
to the Frenchman and in so doing will behave so suspiciously, 
sneaking into the camp, a sentinel will arrest him and search him 
and, on finding the letter, will take him directly to the command- 
ing officer. 

"Second, and the more likely possibility, is that the Spaniard 
will decide to play safe, or even make himself a hero, by taking the 
letter straightway to Montiano." 

Bait was struck dumb in admiration for the Georgia leader's 
cunning; but Charles Mackay continued to ask questions. "I hate 
to appear stupid, sir; but I still don't see how you can count 
on Montiano accepting the notion that the Frenchman is in our 
pay when obviously he was in the Spaniard's pay." 

"I'm not sure, Captain, Montiano will accept that notion. I do 
believe, however, the letter will plant some grave doubts in his 
mind. He will reason that a Frenchman who will spy for Spain for 
money will just as quickly turn tail and spy for England, especially 
if England offers more money. Don't you concur?" 

"Yes, sir." 

"Now back to the letter . . ." General Oglethorpe hesitated for 
a moment as if to recall how far he had gone in outlining its con- 
tents. "Besides urging the Frenchman to describe our position as 
very weak, the letter should insist that he use all his influence to 
keep the Spaniards on St. Simons until we are reinforced by two 
thousand infantrymen and six men-of-war who have already sailed 
from Charles Town." 

"Have they really?" cried several officers, but not Bart. He had 
too recently returned from taking that pathetic plea as far as Skid- 
oway Narrows for Captain Thomson to come alone if no men-of- 
war were ready to be fooled by General Oglethorpe's remark. 

The General, with calm deliberation, eyed each of the officers 

314 



separately; then said, "I would like to believe so, gentlemen, but I 
haven't heard anything to that effect. Don't you understand, yet, 
that this whole letter is a hoax indeed, just as much of a hoax as 
the Trojan horse?" 

The officers grinned sheepishly and Captain William Morgan, 
master o the S*. Philip sloop, which had finally made its way to 
Frederica, answered for all of them, "Sir, you had me completely 
hoodwinked there for a few minutes." 

"I pray Don Manuel de Montiano will be as easily duped." James 
Oglethorpe pushed back his chair and stood up, signifying the con- 
ference was over. "God give you good rest, gentlemen. You may be 
excused whilst I work out the details of the plot. I must compose 
the letter to the Frenchman and get the sergeant in command of 
the guard to locate the prisoner to smuggle the letter into the 
Spanish camp." 

A few hours later, when it was barely dawn and a light fog lay 
close to the land, Bart, returning to work on the defense ditch, 
glimpsed James Oglethorpe hurrying the prisoner and a half-dozen 
Indians through the English lines. The Indians, he surmised, were 
to spy upon the prisoner to see if he was accosted by the sentinel 
as he entered the camp. 

Bart prayed beneath his breath that the plan would succeed. 
General Oglethorpe was a scheming genius 3 as he had proven on 
many occasions, and Bart hoped to God that this time his flair for 
strategy would not fail. 

The first act of the drama moved without a hitch. A little before 
noon one of the Indians sped back with the tidings that the Span- 
iard had been arrested as he approached the walls of the fort and 
had been marched oft summarily as if on his way to the command- 
ing officer. 

By now the letter must have been thoroughly digested. Perhaps, 
at this very hour, Don Manuel and Don Antonio de Rodondo were 
holding a council of war. Damme, it would be exciting, thought 
Bart, to be under one of those dons' chairs that is, if he knew their 
barbaric language a little better. Those bastards surely must be 
thrashing about furiously to come at the truth of the matter. 

At noon Bart hastened home to snatch some rest. Stripped to his 

315 



drawers, he fell heavily upon his pad, but instantly at least it 
seemed instantly to him, for he wasn't even sure he had been to 
sleep he heard shouts from the Parade. 

"Damme!" he muttered and jumped to his feet. 

"Sails!" a man bawled. "Sails! Sails! Sails!" 

Then other men began bawling, too. 

"What sails?" cried Heather dramatically, rushing into the bed- 
room. 

"How should I know, lass?" Bart answered shortly. 

Struggling into his leather breeches, he listened with every nerve 
taut. Then relaxed. The shouts rang with joy, not terror. The 
sails, God be praised, must be English and not Spanish. 

He and Heather, dashing into the street, learned that there were 
two British men-of-war, a snow and a galley a little way of? the 
northeast shore of St. Simons. Two Rangers, patrolling that side 
of the island, had seen them plainly. 

Bart's mind flew immediately to General Oglethorpe's letter to 
the French spy, claiming six men-of-war on the way. What would 
Don Manuel de Montiano think now when the lookouts in the 
crow's-nests of his galleys reported four British ships off the coast? 
Would he be convinced that two more were on the way? And 
2,000 infantrymen? 

What a stroke of good fortune! Bart exulted. What incredible 
good timing for them to appear just at this hour when those scabby 
Spanish knaves were trying to make up their minds about the 
true posture of affairs at Frederica! And what a genius that Gen- 
eral Oglethorpe was! What a bloody, bloody genius! 

A summons to headquarters added to his exultation. Now he 
would tell General Oglethorpe to his face what a genius he was. 
That, however, proved to be a foolish notion, for the Georgia leader 
was passionately dictating a letter and only looked up long enough 
to mutter, "Bart, I'm writing a letter to the commander of His 
Majesty's ships that have just arrived off our coast." 

"Yes, sir." Bart settled down on a campstool. So, he was to take 
a letter. . . . 

"Where was I?" James Oglethorpe asked the young cadet whom 
he'd pressed into service. 

The chap studied his notes, then read, "I'm extremely glad . . *" 

316 



"I'm extremely glad/' General Oglethorpe picked it up, "of your 
arrival since I believe you will be able to destroy the whole Spanish 
fleet. I send out Captain William Morgan to pilot you over the bar 
if you think proper to come in. I shall attack the Spaniards by land 
whenever you attempt it. I should not take upon me to advise you, 
who know so much better the sea affairs, but in my opinion it is 
absolutely necessary for His Majesty's service and our honor to at- 
tack them both by sea and land, and I think the best method would 
be to come in as they did with a leading gale since the upper part 
of the harbor is entirely in our power whereas it was not in theirs." 

James Oglethorpe paused for a minute to figure out the full pro- 
cedure, then continued: "I will make three smokes in the heart of 
the island to show that we are ready. I have three strong boats, 
which carry about thirty men each, who will meet and assist you 
as soon as you are come by the Spanish fleet and come to the 
bottom of the harbor. If you see an English Jack hoisted upon the 
seashore you may know it to be us. If it is proper I will also fire a 
platoon near the Jack and make two smokes. 

"I am, sir, in hopes of seeing you soon and accomplishing one of 
the most noble things that has been done in this war, which will 
redound to your eternal honor as well as to the service of your King 
and country." 

James Oglethorpe, his face beaming, turned to Bart. "I'm dis- 
patching this letter by Lieutenant Maxwell to the commander of 
His Majesty's ships whoever he might be. I want you to accom- 
pany him and Captain Morgan on the St. Philip through the 
northern passage to the flagship. There you will leave Captain 
Morgan to pilot the fleet over the bar into Jekyll Sound whilst you 
and Lieutenant Maxwell return on the St. Philip. Do you under- 
stand?" 

"Aye, sir." 

"Then proceed with all haste." 

Bart couldn't suppress a grin; the words were so familiar. 

"And, Bart, I'm hoping that by the time you reach the ships, 
there will be six of 'em instead of four." 

But when the St. Philip came around the northern end of St. 
Simons into the Atlantic, there were no ships at all. Not one. Not 
a single, solitary one. Bart couldn't believe it. Nor could Primrose 

317 



Maxwell. Nor William Morgan. Each of them took turns in the 
topmast head, scanning the whole wide, watery horizon, but not 
one English sail could they see anywhere. 

Yet, they knew they had been there. The two Rangers who had 
reported them were responsible fellows and they had seen them so 
clearly they even recognized what class ships they were. 

"Goddamn them to Hell!" denounced William Morgan. "No 
doubt they have fled back to the safety of Charles Town." 

Primrose knit his brows. "It doesn't seem possible they could 
have quitted us like that, but 'tis the only conclusion to be reached." 

"The lubberly sons of whores." Bart's eyes were hot with anger 
and his mouth had its thin, mean look. "When they spied those 
Spanish sails in the Sound, they simply turned cowards and ran." 

Making their slow way back through the narrow northern pass- 
age against a high wind and an outgoing tide, they mulled darkly 
over this terrible turn of affairs. Frederica was in a more dangerous 
situation now than even before the ships put in their appearance. 
The Spanish lookouts had undoubtedly witnessed their arrival 
and departure. The letter to the French spy would turn into a 
huge joke. The English now were surely at the Spaniards' mercy. 

Their fears, however, proved groundless. By the time they 
reached Frederica, the Spaniards had upped their anchors and fled. 
Actually fled! Every last man of them! Every last galley! Without 
even waiting to observe the departure of the British fleet, they 
had fled. Without even waiting to bury those who had died within 
the last few hours of wounds, they had fled. Without even loading 
their supplies, their guns or cannon, they had fled. As if they ex- 
pected a tidal wave to sweep momentarily over St. Simons, they 
had stampeded onto their boats, upped the anchors and sailed away. 

Frederica was saved! St. Simons was saved! Georgia was saved! 
Carolina and, perhaps, the other eleven colonies were saved. At 
least, for the time being and if for the time being, maybe for always. 
They would never again be so weak. 

"I will proclaim a day of Thanksgiving throughout Georgia," 
James Oglethorpe announced on the Parade in a restrained voice, 
though his face, and especially his eyes, glowed with ill-suppressed 
elation. He was probably, Heather thought to herself without 

318 



rancor, contemplating the day that tablets and monuments would 
be unveiled in his honor. 

A week later she and Bart read the proclamation tacked on the 
barracks' door. They agreed they didn't care for the first few lines 
they were too stilted but the others were as simple, they sup- 
posed, as an official paper could be. 

. . . Truly the Lord hath done great things for us, by rescu- 
ing us from the power of a numerous foe, who boasted that 
they would conquer and dispossess us. Not our strength or 
might hath saved us; our salvation is of the Lord. Therefore 
it is highly becoming us to render thanks to God, our deliverer. 
For this purpose, and in regard to these considerations, I hereby 
appoint that the twenty-fifth day of this month should be held 
as a day of public Thanksgiving to Almighty God for his 
great deliverance and the end that is put to this Spanish in- 
vasion. And I enjoin that everyone observe this festival in a 
Christian and Godly manner; abstaining from intemperance 
and excess, and from all extravagant signs of rejoicing. 

Given under my own hand and seal this twenty-first day o 
July, at Frederica in Georgia, in the year of our Lord, one 
thousand seven hundred and forty-two. 

JAMES OGLETHORPE 

As she finished reading the proclamation, Heather, two tears 
coursing down her cheeks, turned and smiled with warm tender- 
ness at Bart. "I'll be only too happy to observe this festival, but I 
can't promise to abstain from 'all extra signs of rejoicing.* " 

Grinning, Bart leaned swiftly over and kissed her. "Nor can I, 
lass." 



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